Man challenges his uncle’s Will to inherit house

A man has won the right to inherit his uncle’s house even though he had been written out of the Will.

The issue arose when the man and his family moved into his uncle’s house on the understanding that they would inherit the property. The uncle encouraged the move and made several promises that they would inherit.

The nephew carried out maintenance and repair work on the basis that the house would eventually be his. However, the relationship between the two men began to sour. The nephew then discovered he had been written out of the Will.

The uncle died before the matter was resolved and so the nephew challenged the Will.

The judge saw documents including previous Wills that stated that the nephew’s family would inherit the property. There was also a draft letter that said the nephew’s family had moved in on the understanding that they would inherit the house.

The executors of the Will submitted that it was wrong for the nephew’s family to inherit the whole property as they had had the benefit of living there before the uncle died.

However, the judge ruled that the nephew’s family were entitled to inherit the whole of the property. They had relied on promises made by the uncle, and the uncle was not entitled to renege on those promises.
That decision has now been upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Please contact Michelle Stopford in our Warminster office on 01985 214444 or Westbury on 01373 865577 or email mstopford@mulaw.co.uk  if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of wills and probate.