Ex-soldier leaves £50 each to Grandchildren

by Karen Young

12 March 2024

The High Court has ruled that Frederick Ward was entitled to alter his Will and leave his five grandchildren (from his deceased son Fred Jr) only £50 each in an envelope from his £500,000 estate.

The ex-soldier felt that his grandchildren, contrary to his two children, had ignored him in his final years and therefore were not entitled to the initial inheritance he had bequeathed to them.

The grandchildren challenged the Will on the grounds that they deserved a portion equivalent to their late father’s share. Further they argued that Mr Ward’s two children had “unduly influenced” him resulting in the decision to alter his Will.

However, the High Court Judge, Master Brightwell was not convinced and said that the decision made by Mr Ward was “entirely rational” given the fact his grandchildren had failed to maintain regular contact with him in his later years. Brightwell said in Court that the evidence of the grandchildren “did not come close” to persuading him that Mr Ward’s children had coerced him.

This case highlights that principle of testamentary freedom and the complexities which can often surround contentious probate matters.

If you would like advice on drafting your Will or are involved in a dispute relating to one, please contact a member of our EMW Living team.


This article was written with the assistance of Noemi Stepan-Sarkissian.
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