55 year-old Clive Shaw from Lincolnshire discovered that he had been written out of his parents’ Wills and as a result brought a claim against them in the High Court.
Based on a promise from his parents that he would inherit the £1m family farm, Mr Shaw claimed that he tirelessly worked on the farm from a young age and never pursued other career prospects.
However, his parents cut him out of the Will altogether and instead bequeathed the estate to his sister because they both claimed that their son ‘hated the cows’ on the farm and felt that he was incapable of running the business.
Mr Shaw’s sister, Cheryl Hughes, told the High Court in London that he repeatedly called the cows ‘stinking, horrible, rotten creatures’. Mr Shaw considers that the dispute has nothing to do with this but has come about because his mother does not like his girlfriend and thinks that she is a ‘gold digger’.
Rajinder Rai says that “This case highlights the importance of early action where families wish to protect their family assets to avoid costly disputes arising in the first place. We are experiencing an increasing number of similar disputes where the parties fail to formalise agreements in writing at the time the promise is made.”
“While such cases were historically brought on the death of the person that made the promise, this is one of many where the claim has been brought in the lifetime of both parties to enforce the promise as soon as there is an indication that the promise has not been honoured.”
Nathan Hidson adds “This case also goes to show why it is always worth instructing a firm of solicitors when it comes to Wills, as we are able not only to advise and represent parties in such disputes but critically also on strategies to minimise the risk of disputes arising in the first place.”
For more information on how our expert team of lawyers can assist with the preparation of your will and with all aspects of probate and estate administration follow this link.
Although correct at the time of publication, the contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Please contact us for the latest legal position.