Inheritance row and the importance of instructing a reputable lawyer - MLP Law

Inheritance row and the importance of instructing a reputable lawyer

Louise Reeves, daughter of the deceased property tycoon was accused of coercing her father into leaving 80% of his £100million estate to her when he died in 2019.

Inheritance row and the importance of instructing a reputable lawyer


Louise Reeves, daughter of the deceased property tycoon was accused of coercing her father into leaving 80% of his £100million estate to her when he died in 2019.

Kevin Reeves, the deceased, had originally prepared a Will in 2012 splitting his vast wealth with 80% being split between Louise Reeves, Bill Reeves and their half-sister Lisa, and the remaining 20% split between grandchildren of his other estranged son.

However, in 2014 he signed a new Will leaving the estate split with 80% to Louise and 20% to Lisa. The dramatic change between the two Wills left family members opposing probate being granted and claiming that the 2014 Will was a result of undue influence.

During the claim the Judge went on to criticise the solicitor, Daniel Curnock, who had prepared the £100million Will and ruled they had been “reckless and quite possibly dishonest”.

Reviewing the manner in which Daniel Curnock prepared the 2014 Will has found to be very strange and the court heard that the quality of the service had been compared to the quality of the clothes at Primark. The Judge said that it was ‘extraordinary’ that the solicitor has annotated and made amendments to the original Will executed in 2012 whilst it was still valid.

During the trial Daniel Curnock was questioned on the validity of the 2014 Will and the manner in which it had been prepared. Daniel Curnock persistently tried to avoid answering questions and the Judge found that he could not safely rely on the evidence from the professional.
The court heard that there were a number of text messages sent between Daniel Curnock and Louise Reeves in 2013 and a witness to a meeting with them claimed that there was a familiarity between the two of them. The Judge concluded that whilst the involvement of a solicitor would usually strengthen the presumption of validity of a Will, in this case it was ‘quite the reverse’.

The Judge ruled that the deceased did not know and approve the contents of the 2014 Will and held that the 2012 Will was valid.
This case highlights the need for a reputable and competent professional to assist in the preparation of a Will.

With today’s wide range of estates and complexity of family structures, it is important to seek professional guidance to ensure matters are dealt with properly.

How can MLP Law help?
Where possible, you should always speak to a specialist lawyer experienced and reputable in this area of law.  The process of preparing a Will and ensuring your affairs are in order is fundamentally important.

MLP Law have a specialist team who are able to provide the best advice on what’s needed according to your situation, taking you through the process to guarantee a service that I tailored your needs.

 Our offices are open for covid-19 safe appointments, alternatively we can discuss your instructions via telephone, video call or email.
Contact Details for Wills, Trusts and Probate Team: 0161 9269 969 or WTP@mlplaw.co.uk

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