Charities Win Inheritance Dispute

In a case that demonstrates the importance of taking professional legal advice when writing a will, four charities have won a legal battle over their right to share an estate worth around £1.8 million, reports the Daily Mail. The estate belonged to Dorothy Whelen, who died in 2012 at the age of 93. In 1982, she and her husband had signed mirror wills that left their entire estate to four charities: Marie Curie Cancer Care, the Royal National Institutes for Deaf and Blind People and Royal Institute of Cancer Research. However, after Mrs Whelen’s death a more recent will was found, dated 1999, which instead left the bulk of her estate to her life-long friend Mrs Turner, who is now aged 95 and suffering from severe dementia. The charities challenged the validity of this will, and the High Court judge has now ruled in their favour. The Daily Mail reports that although the judge believed that Mrs Whelen meant to leave her estate to her friend and understood the contents of the new will

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