A will made two months before the death of an elderly woman has been set aside by the High Court after it heard evidence that by 2006, when the new will was made, she was ‘seriously losing her grip’.
The new will left the woman’s entire estate of nearly £400,000 to a traveling hairdresser, who had been her friend for more than 30 years and had set her hair weekly.
The earlier will had been a ‘mirror will’ of one made by the woman’s sister, who predeceased her in 1995. The sisters, who were childless, had lived together for many years and evidence was given that their wills, which were executed in 1991, had been very seriously considered and constituted. They were, in effect, a promise to eachother not to change them in the event that the other sister died first.
Under the sisters’ wills, on the first death the assets of the deceased passed to the other sister and on the second death they were to be distributed amongst the family.
The 2006 will was contested by the family with the result that it was set aside and the friend ordered to give the inheritance back to the family.
An appeal is thought to be highly likely.