Two brothers have won a legal battle to receive their full inheritance from their motherâ€™s will.
The case involved a family dispute between the brothers and their sister.
Their mother had made a will leaving substantial sums to all her three children. However, before she died she transferred a large amount of her money to her daughter and son-in-law so they could buy a property.
The property was in the daughter and son-in-lawâ€™s names. The mother lived there with them in the weeks before she died. The transaction amounted to more than 90% of the motherâ€™s estate which meant there was very little left for the sons.
The men brought the case to court claiming their sister had exerted undue influence over their mother causing them to lose out on their inheritance.
The court heard that the mother had become dependent on the daughter who did more for her than her sons did. The daughter denied that she had poisoned her motherâ€™s mind against the sons.
However, because of the nature and timing of the transactions, the court held that it was the daughterâ€™s duty to prove there had been no undue influence. The daughter failed to do this or to explain why the mother hadnâ€™t sought independent advice, or why the property wasnâ€™t in her motherâ€™s name.
The court wasnâ€™t satisfied that the mother had acted independently when making the transaction. She hadnâ€™t updated her will and there was no evidence that she had intended to reduce her sonsâ€™ inheritance.
The court ruled that the daughter and son-in-law must provide the brothers with their share of the estate as outlined in the will.
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