06/01/2020

Thursfields’ advice after daughter loses challenge over mother’s £100 legacy | Dispute Resolution

Katherine Ellis

A woman who failed to convince a court that her mother’s nominal legacy was invalid is a prime example of why quality evidence is crucial in such cases, according to Thursfields Solicitors.

The comments come after Patricia Johnson tried to challenge her mother’s Will after being left just £100, while her brother inherited assets worth tens of thousands of pounds.

The daughter lost her High Court battle after a judge decided her mother Maudlin Bascoe had “testamentary capacity” when she executed her Will in her 80s, and rejected claims that her son Bradford Barnaby put her under “undue influence”.

The court heard how Mrs Bascoe, from Brixton, south London, decided on the token legacy because her daughter had shown “very little care and concern for me in my later years” and had been “rude” and “unpleasant”.

Katherine Ellis, a Senior Associate Solicitor at Thursfields’ Kidderminster office and an expert in the law surrounding contested estates, said: “This case appears to have failed because insufficient evidence was provided to support the claim.

The Will included a note explaining why Mrs Bascoe had chosen to only gift a nominal legacy to her daughter, and detailed medical records failed to suggest that Mrs Bascoe was suffering from dementia in 2001, as alleged by her daughter.”

Katherine added: “the evidence from the will drafting solicitor was also crucial to the case as he confirmed he had no doubts regarding Mrs Bascoe’s testamentary capacity, and he was satisfied that Mrs Bascoe had not been unduly influenced by any third party.

It is standard practice for the court to require such evidence in claims of this nature and the quality of that evidence can be crucial to the court’s decision.

At Thursfields we have experience of these types of matters and can obtain the relevant information on behalf of clients whether they are looking to bring or defend a claim.”

Anyone wanting to discuss a Will dispute matter can contact Katherine Ellis on 0121 647 5419, extension 5419, or at kellis@thursfields.co.uk.

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