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Sibling wins £300,000 inheritance after ‘DIY Will’ rejection

In a recent dispute, a daughter has been awarded the entirety of her late father’s £300,000 estate after a ‘DIY Will’ was rejected by the High Court.

In February 2018, when Mr William Tibbles passed away, his daughter, Terri Tibbles, had expected to inherit all his estate.

The court heard how William Tibbles compiled a letter of wishes to his Will in March 2017, stating that Terri’s twin sister Kelly and daughters Susan and Cindy were a “disappointment” to him and his son, Paul, was “already financially secure”. Therefore, Terri’s siblings would not be left anything.

However, Paul Tibbles suggested that his father had validly signed and executed his final Will at the later date of February 2018; the day before he went into hospital and five days before he passed away.

This ‘DIY Will’ was then handed to William’s solicitor three days after his death.

The new-found Will declared that Susan, Kelly and Cindy had all cared for their father in his last months and that William had experienced a change of heart. Paul Tibbles sought to argue that this new Will was valid and cancelled out the one created in March 2017.

The ‘DIY Will’ appeared to have been torn from a notebook and disinherited Terri entirely. The apparent legality of the Will and the confusion as to why her father would change his mind 11 months later, encouraged Terri to take the case to the High Court.

Judge Matthew Marsh ruled that the Will was not valid, pointing out that it was “handwritten and not in Mr Tibbles’ handwriting.”

He added: “There’s no real evidence for his change of mind and no evidence about him signing it.”

Following this ruling, Terri Tibbles has inherited all £300,000 of her father’s estate, with her siblings inheriting nothing.

Lorraine Walker, a Solicitor with Mander Hadley, who specialises in disputed Wills, said: “In the UK we enjoy the 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. The Act allows certain categories of applicant to bring a claim against an estate of a deceased person where reasonable financial provision has not been made for them under the terms of the Will or on intestacy.

“Equally, there are times when a Will might be invalid because of the circumstances in which it was made. Whatever the reason, if you wish to contest a Will it is important to act promptly by seeking expert legal advice.”

For more help or advice on contested Wills or disputes, please contact us.

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