Inheritance dispute judge says no clear promise was made

By Lenore Rice

A son has failed in his attempt to contest the Will of his mother that left almost the entire estate to his sister, with the High Court judge saying he was never given a cast-iron promise that he would inherit something.

Denise Preece, aged 54, was awarded an 11-acre scrap yard worth £12million in her mother's Will, with her 3 brothers receiving little or nothing from the Will. Denise's mother regretted the treatment of her daughter by the rest of the family after her father, who had built up the scrap yard business, had died. Her job within the business had been dropped, she didn't receive a business, and she was given a greatly reduced pension. Her mother also felt that the business had been destroyed by the "greed" of the family following her husband's death.

Her brother David contested the Will, saying he had "taken it for granted" that he and his brothers would receive a share. However, Mr Justice Newey held that David has not been told anything "clear enough" to constitute a promise or assurance that the court could use to alter the Will. He was granted a classic Morris lorry but the mother's Will was otherwise upheld.

If you require legal advice in respect of making a Will, or contesting a Will, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by calling 0800 840 9293.