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Brothers dispute over Littlewoods Pools’ mother’s £40 million estate

Matthew Velarde, aged 61 and heir to the billionaire Littlewoods Pools family, has won a court battle over his mother’s multi-million-pound fortune.

The mother, Patricia Moores, was the daughter of Cecil Moores, who had created the football pools and mail-order retail empire with his brother, Sir John Moores.

A £40 million estate and a large undisclosed trust fund was to be left to her children when Patricia died in 2017, at the age of 86.

Having appointed her sons Matthew and Christian, together with her daughter Rebecca Velarde as equal beneficiaries of the fund in 1981, Patricia’s inheritance was to be split fairly between her children.

However, Matthew was later removed by his mother, when he was divorced – despite still being entitled to a share of the £40 million estate. This left Christian and Rebecca as the beneficiaries of the fund.

A clause in her will was later revealed, which Matthew said showed his mother intended to let him have an equal share of her wealth – later backed by his sister’s support.

Christian suggested that Patricia wanted Matthew to get less than his siblings, but this was not enough to convince the High Court.

The High Court judge has backed Matthew and Mrs Moores’ will, created in 2007, split her money equally between her three children and gifted specific items of jewellery to each of them.

The trust fund was also to be split after her death, but this has not yet been distributed due to the on-going dispute.

In the UK, we enjoy a freedom to leave our estates by will to whoever we please, without restriction. However, this freedom is counterbalanced by the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

This gives certain relatives, who may feel hard done by, the right to ask the Courts to review a will and to make amends if it is found that the will is unfair.

Equally, there are times when a will might be invalid because of the circumstances in which it was made.

Whatever the reason for a contested will, at Mander Hadley, our friendly and knowledgeable team are here to help. For more advice on related matters, please contact us today.

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