Window cleaner stripped of inheritance
A window cleaner was stripped of his inheritance recently, when a High Court judge ruled that the deceased had not had sufficient mental capacity to draft a new will.
The woman, Julie Spalding, left behind a £300,000 inheritance, and had originally promised to leave her bungalow to her nephew, Cecil Bray, who looked after her in her later years. Unfortunately, in 2005, she experienced a number of falls which, it is said, significantly altered her personality. It was during this time that she struck up a close friendship with her then-window cleaner, Albert Pearce.
It was not until Ms Spalding died in 2008, that it was revealed she had made a further three wills between 2005 and 2008, in effect leaving everything not to her nephew, but to Mr Pearce.
In this contentious probate case, MrPearce has now been asked to repay any inheritance he has already spent, and is to return the rest of the monies, which are to be given to the deceased woman's nephew.
“Will intestacy lead to the loss of my home?” is a question which is not uncommon.
Only last week I read about the sad case of a woman who, after her mother died, moved into the family home to look after her ailing father.
Unfortunately, neither the father nor the mother had written a will and after the inevitable happened and her father died, the often thorny question of inheritance arose.
Reading between the lines, it sounds as though relations were strained between the woman and her siblings, which led her to ask whether, as the home would be divided between all the brothers and sisters, they could force her to leave? She was particularly concerned as she had nowhere else to go.
The woman was advised to seek the advice of a contentious probate professional without delay, with the aim of making a claim against her father’s estate. Her options were limited to buying her siblings out or giving them rent for their shares. If they didn’t agree to either option, however, they would be entirely within their rights to take her to court in order to forcibly evict her.