Grandad leaves granddaughters simply £50 every from £500,000 fortune for one motive | UK | News | EUROtoday

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Frederick Ward left each of his granddaughters just £50

Frederick Ward left every of his granddaughters simply £50 (Image: Champion News)

“Strong willed” former soldier Frederick Ward Snr, who died in 2020, all however reduce out his lifeless son Fred Jnr’s 5 grownup youngsters as a result of he was disillusioned and “upset” they did not go to him fairly often in his later years.

Instead, his final will break up virtually all of his fortune between his youngsters, Terry Ward and Susan Wiltshire, with Fred Jr’s 5 daughters – Carol Gowing, Angela St Marseille, Amanda Higginbotham, Christine Ward and Janet Pett – being handed simply £50 every in envelopes.

After studying they’d been “left out” of the need, the sisters sued, claiming they need to get their late dad’s one-third share of their grandfather’s cash, and accusing their Uncle Terry and Aunt Susan of getting “unduly influenced” him into altering his will.

But their case was thrown out by High Court choose, Master James Brightwell, who in March mentioned it was “entirely rational” for the “disappointed” grandad to chop out his grandkids as a consequence of their “very limited contact” with him in his latter years.

Now following a brand new listening to, the 5 sisters have been left going through a crushing £220,000-plus invoice to cowl their aunt and uncle’s prices of defending the declare in opposition to them, in addition to their very own legal professionals’ payments.

Lawyers for the 5 granddaughters had argued that they need to not pay all the prices of the case, accusing their uncle of “provocative” behaviour, and asking for among the payments of the struggle to return out of their grandad’s property.

But the choose mentioned the reason for the bitter court docket battle was the change within the relationship between granddaughters and grandfather, who had develop into disillusioned at their restricted contact after Fred Jnr died.

He ordered Ms Gowing and her sisters to pay £100,000 up entrance in direction of a complete defence authorized invoice estimated at £136,470, with VAT to be added on.

The sisters personal authorized prices have been £85,688.50.

During the trial of the row final yr, the court docket heard Fred Ward Snr, an “independent and strong minded” former soldier, cable joiner and common social membership person who lived in Willow Road, South Ealing, London, died aged 91 in 2020.

He had three youngsters, Fred Jr, Terry and Susan, and had beforehand made a will which break up his property, together with his £450,000 maisonette, between all three.

But Fred Jr – father to the 5 sisters – died earlier than his dad in 2015, following which the household fell out, with Mr Ward not seeing a lot of Fred Jr’s aspect of the household.

When his remaining 2018 will was learn out by Terry after his demise, a bitter shouting match broke out – which was recorded and performed to the court docket – when it was revealed that the 5 sisters had been all however reduce out.

From a fortune valued at round £500,000, they have been handed envelopes containing simply £50 every in money by their Uncle Terry.

They then sued, claiming that their grandad’s final will was invalid, having been made when he was “an ill man” and “frightened” of Terry, who “coerced” him into making it.

They additionally pointed the finger at their aunt Susan, accusing her of exerting “undue influence” over their grandad.

Their barrister informed the choose that Terry had developed a selected “hate” for his niece Carol Gowing after a household falling out over a property, and mentioned there was a “palpable…dislike between the two sides of the family”.

Maxwell Myers, for the pair, denied all of the allegations and informed the court docket: “When ones dies, one is entitled to leave one’s property to whoever one pleases.”

Giving judgment, Master Brightwell cleared Terry and Sue of the allegations made by the sisters and described the 2018 will as “rational” within the circumstances, provided that Fred Jr’s youngsters had not seen a lot of their grandfather after their dad’s demise in 2015.

“It is most likely that given the changed circumstances following Fred Jr’s death and the limited contact with the claimants after then that Fred became disappointed with the claimants,” he mentioned.

The case returned to court docket final week for a choice on who pays the legal professionals’ payments for the case.

Both sides blamed one another for beginning the court docket struggle, with Mr Myers telling the choose that, given the character of the allegations in opposition to them, Terry and Sue had been compelled to defend themselves.

But James McKean, for the sisters, mentioned they’d been “compelled to issue proceedings” when their aunt and uncle “withdrew an undertaking not to distribute the estate” and pointed to “provocative” behaviour by Terry on the will studying.

He argued that, regardless of shedding the struggle, the 5 sisters should not need to pay all of their aunt and uncle’s prices, saying that among the prices needs to be paid out of the property.

Rejecting that request, the choose mentioned: “The deceased had made a promise whilst he was alive that, should one of his children die, their children would inherit their share. Did the behaviour of the deceased cause the litigation?

“It was admitted by Terry Ward on the will studying that such a promise was made. But it could possibly’t be mentioned that the deceased was the true explanation for the litigation.

“It was a change in the relationship between the deceased and the claimants, and that is a different matter.

“I do not contemplate it’s applicable to order any prices to return out of the property.

“In circumstances where the defendants knew that minimal gifts had been made and that that would cause upset, I’m not sure why a will reading took place in the way that it did, causing some of the animosity.

“Terry’s behaviour simply after the demise of his father was provocative,” the judge found, but went on to say that finding was far from establishing that Terry “was the reason for the litigation”.

“Having heard the studying of the need spirits have been excessive on each side from the beginning and the die was forged for a bitter dispute from the outset,” the judge concluded.

Giving judgment on the inheritance fight earlier this year, Master Brightwell had described the 2018 will as “rational” given that Fred Jr’s children had not seen much of their grandfather after their dad’s death in 2015.

They had not visited him in hospital because they were not informed he was there, but that was because of how often he was admitted and also “as a result of contact between the events had stopped in any occasion,” he said.

The five sisters had made only “very occasional brief visits” to see their “disillusioned” grandad, while he was on close terms with his son Terry and Susan was his full-time carer.

“I settle for Susan’s proof that her father complained that Fred Jr’s household didn’t care about him,” adding that he was particularly upset about the lack of contact at the time of one of his great-granddaughters’ weddings.

“He complained that he was not even despatched a bit of wedding ceremony cake,” he said.

“In these circumstances, and regardless of a promise by Fred a number of years earlier to divide his property between his youngsters’s youngsters if something ought to occur to any of them, the 2018 will was for my part solely rational.

“This does not mean that I cannot understand the claimants’ disappointment at being essentially left out.”

“Some may take the view that, as a general proposition, when a testator’s child has predeceased him, he generally ought to leave an equal share of his residue to that child’s issue,” he added.

“However, the decision not to do so and to split the residue and thus the bulk of the estate between his surviving children can hardly be said to be provision which no reasonable testator could make.”