England

Son loses challenge over mother's £450,000 will

  • 10 July 2013
  • From the section England

A son who claimed his mother's £450,000 will was influenced by his "puppet-master" brother has lost a legal challenge against it.

Daphne Jeffery, 76, of Bridge in Kent, died in February 2010 and was survived by her two sons, Nicholas and Andrew.

Mrs Jeffery and Andrew fell out in 2001 and in her last will she left her estate to Andrew's three children and Nicholas.

A High Court dismissed allegations over the validity of the will.

Andrew, 51, of Billingshurst, West Sussex, claimed his mother was addicted to medication which gave rise to her behaving deviously and irresponsibly and she lacked the necessary capacity to make the will.

He also said his 54-year-old brother had undue influence over their mother.

However, Justice Vos said the allegations were wholly unsubstantiated, false and unsupported by any evidence.

'Master plotter'

He said: "This is a clear case, but Andrew has succeeded in making what was obvious and simple look apparently complex. It was and is not complex.

"The deceased obviously had capacity to make her wills. She never suffered from any mentally incapacitating complaint, even if she did experience occasional anxiety and mild depression.

"If people suffering from such complaints were unable to make wills, a large percentage of the population would be so inhibited."

He said that Andrew could not bring himself to believe that his mother disinherited him of her own volition.

"He has, in his mind, invested Nicholas with gargantuan powers of influence and coercion over his mother, when the truth, I regret to say, is more pedestrian," he said.

The judge added that Mrs Jeffery liked to control her sons and it was more likely that she would be the "master plotter" in the family.

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