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Strange is Not Unbalanced

27 June 2012

Although ‘there’s nowt so queer as folk’, the fact that a person is ‘odd’ or ‘eccentric’ does not make their will invalid.

When a man who later died of a brain tumour made a will that disinherited his second wife in favour of his immediate family, she contested the will, alleging that the aberrant behaviour of her husband was evidence that he lacked the mental capacity to make the will.

The couple had separated in 2003 and the wife returned to her native Russia. The husband’s will was made in 2005. He died in 2009, having, his wife alleged, said that he intended to leave his entire estate to her.

The court rejected the wife’s claim to have the will declared invalid, finding no reason to conclude that her husband was not of sound mind when it was made. Her claim for financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 was also rejected because she could not demonstrate that she had been financially dependent on him for several years before his death.

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