In a recent dispute, one sibling has won the entirety of her late father’s £300,000 fortune 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.
It appears that 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.
Paul Tibbles later 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 newfound Will declares that Susan, Kelly and Cindy had all cared for their father in his last months and William had experienced a change of heart. Paul Tibbles also suggested that this new Will was valid and cancelled out the one created earlier on.
However, it had missed a deadline for filing documents for the case and was unable to call evidence at the trial.
The ‘DIY Will’ appeared to be torn from a notebook and disinherited Terri entirely. Therefore, the 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.
Accordingly, Judge Matthew Marsh ruled that the Will was not valid as “It’s handwritten and not in Mr Tibbles’ handwriting.”
“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.
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 for a contested Will, at Mander Hadley, our friendly and knowledgeable team are here to help.
For more help or advice on contested Wills or disputes, contact us today.
Mander Hadley Solicitors is not only a long established firm, but is vibrant and successful, with a forward thinking approach.
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