Inheritance dispute: Daughter could lose £260,000 home

A daughter could lose the £260,000 home which she was awarded in a divorce settlement following a legal battle with the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) over a legacy agreement in her father’s Will.

Sonya Young was named as the main heir to her father Brian Cole’s estate in 2008, but she was then disinherited when he changed his Will to name his partner, Angela Saunders, as the main beneficiary.

However, Brian Cole wrote his third Will in 2013, in which he left £268,000 to the RNLI, funding the lifeboat operation in Penarth, Wales, where he was a member of the crew for many years.

The terms of this Will saw both Sonya and Angela left an inheritance of £5,000 each.

Mr Cole died less than a month after signing his third Will, and a legal battle began in 2015.

Ms Young stated that her father was not of sound mind when created his third Will, saying that he had a history of alcoholism and this clouded his judgement at the time that the 2013 Will was written.

However, the court ruled in favour of the RNLI, upholding the 2013 Will and ruling that Mr Cole was of sound mind when he signed off on his latest Will, making a conscious decision to disinherit his daughter following a disagreement.

The court also heard that Ms Young had ‘dissipated’ around £54,000 of the inheritance, before ordering her to give £214,000 to the RNLI charity.

For help and advice on matters relating to Wills, inheritance and estate planning, contact our expert team today.

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Natalie Payne
Natalie is a Private Client Solicitor at Mackrell.Solicitors and is based in their London office. Natalie has a very hands on approach with her clients and guides them through every step when looking after their personal affairs and/or those of their friends and family.