Contesting a will leaves family with nothing



Contesting a will has left a family with £150,000 legal costs; effectively wiping out any assets left by the deceased. 


After her husband died twenty years ago, Daphne Burgess made out a will which left her entire estate divided equally between her three children.


Over the following few years, her son Peter and daughter Julia bickered and fell out over a number of trivial issues which resulted in them becoming estranged from each other.


Unfortunately, Daphne subsequently suffered a mini stroke in December 2006, only a few days after Julia had taken her to change her will, indicating that only her two daughters should be her sole beneficiaries.


The will was executed around a month later and Mrs Burgess sadly passed away a couple of years later; sixteen years after the death of her husband and it was not until this time that the changes came to light.


Peter, upset at not having been notified of the changes to the will, questioned whether his mother had been of sound mind at the time the will was altered.


A lengthy court case ensued in which it was revealed that Julia had used £18,000 from her mother’s bank accounts for her own personal use.  It was only this week that the judge ruled that Daphne’s original will should stand, with the money being split between all three siblings.


Unfortunately, legal costs to date have accrued to the region of £150,000, effectively wiping out Mrs Burgess entire estate.  Her son however has nobly offered to pay these costs in full, to spare his sisters the financial stress and ensure that both his sisters receive what is due to them.

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