Charity Wins With Our Help
An Equine Charity with a Lancashire Rescue Centre is £850,000 richer - thanks to a Bolton law firm. The Bolton News
KBL Solicitors in Mawdsley Street won contested legacies when two individuals willed their entire estates to the charity.
One lady’s estate was made up of both property and a portfolio of stock, shares and savings which together were valued at £550,000, explained KBL's Susan Hartley.
Her only child had been made sole beneficiary initially, but his mother changed her mind and, in a second Will, left all her money to the charity.
Said Susan: "The son challenged this on the basis that his mother lacked the requisite mental capacity to make the second Will." But the charity’s trustees called in KBL, and in proceedings in the High Court the estate was awarded to the charity.
The second case concerned a gentleman in his 70s whose estate comprised of a dilapidated detached house with a small area of land. In his Will, he made the charity sole beneficiary but immediately after his death, a couple began living in the property.
They claimed there had been an agreement with the gentleman to exchange his property for the couple’s house. The property was in a poor state of repair but still valued at £300,000, and the value of the couple’s house was £130,000.
Michael Slater, Litigation Partner at KBL, who acted for the charity in both cases, promptly issued possession proceedings in the County Court, and during the case the young couple offered to drop their claim and give up the property. As a result, the charity has now benefited from the £300,000 sale.
Commented Susan: “We were delighted to be able to ensure in both cases that the person’s original intentions about their estate were carried out and that their favourite charity could benefit.
“Many people support charities throughout their lifetime and choose to remember them in their will by way of a legacy, and these legacies often form a vital source of income for the charity.
“These two cases emphasise how important it is to be careful when making a Will, using the correct wording and making your wishes very specific.”