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Dispute Prevents Distribution of Estate

13 July 2011

When a beneficiary loses out because the terms of the will of a wealthy person are changed shortly before that person’s death, a dispute is always likely. When a Scottish woman with an estate valued at £4 million died shortly after changing her will in order to transfer £3 million into trust to benefit her ex-husband’s company, that is exactly what occurred.

Under the woman’s 2008 will, her estate would have passed to her sister, but the new will directed that she should receive only £1 million, with the rest of the woman’s estate being transferred into the trust.

The woman’s sister alleges that the change was made when her sister was ‘weak and facile’, and was the result of the exercise of undue influence by the woman’s former husband.

The estate consisted mainly of properties in Scotland, and the Court of Session in Edinburgh has granted the woman’s sister an order which will prevent the dissipation of the estate assets until the dispute is resolved.

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