Essex

Essex woman's will set aside over 'forceful' son

A High Court judge has set a woman's will aside because of pressure applied by her "forceful' son.

Jessica Schrader left her home in Essex to her son Nick in a 2006 will made two years before she died aged 98.

The will was challenged by another son, Bill, who said she did not have proper capacity, did not know what she was doing and was improperly influenced.

Mr Justice Mann found in favour of a 1990 will, restoring Bill's half share of the house, worth about £160,000.

Nick Schrader, 62, now faces paying the costs of the action, which are approaching £110,000.

The judge said: "He (Nick) is, in my view, somewhat obsessed with his feelings towards his brother and a feeling that they were treated unequally by their parents throughout their lives.

"As far as I can see this perception of inequality is unjustified."

The judge said Mrs Schrader was remarkably alert and active until becoming more frail after a fall in May 2005.

'Forceful presence'

But she still understood the world and the people around her, and clearly had testamentary capacity and understood the will.

However, undue influence on the part of Nick, who gave up his job to move in to look after his mother, was established, he added.

"He was a forceful man with a forceful physical presence.

"I repeat that I find there was no question of physical abuse, or even of real emotional abuse.

"However, the fact is he was a powerful personality and his mother was much more vulnerable."

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