Daughter Loses Claim Against Late Property Tycoon Father’s Estate

by Daniel Wilson

31 August 2023

A woman has lost her claim against her late father’s significant estate, worth around £6,000,000.

Norman Gill, who was a successful property developer, died in March 2018, at the age of 83. He left an estate of around £6,000,000, but he only left £5,000 each to his four children. In contrast, he left £2,000,000 worth of legacies to his extended family, assistants, and his carers. Mr Gill’s oldest child, Jessica Hicken, aged 58, challenged her late father’s Will questioning his capacity and suggested that at the time he made the Will he was suffering from a personality disorder. This suggestion was not without just cause, as in 1979, Mr Gill was sentenced to a stay in a psychiatric facility, after he had conspired to murder his then wife.

The High Court ultimately held that Mr Gill did have capacity, and the Will was upheld. The Judge stated that although the decision to only leave his children a small sum may seem unfair, his actions were not irrational, he knew his own mind, and he could be “cruel and spiteful.” In February 2022, Ms Hicken actually accepted the validity of her late father’s Will when a pre-trial settlement agreement of £700,000 was reached.

It is notable that Mr Gill had changed his Will several times over the course of many years. He had previously left the sum of £175,000 to each of his children, however, sadly relations worsened over the intervening years, and he changed his Will again to leave each of his children just £5,000.

This article was written with the assistance of Kate Baggs.
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