Son successfully challenges mother’s will in High Court

By Gordon Deegan

A 53-year-old father-of-two has successfully challenged his mother’s will in the High Court, today (Thursday, November 8) after receiving only a fraction of her €3.8 million estate.

The man, who was the eldest of the woman’s three sons, received only 3.5ac of farmland, valued at the time – in 2013, when she died – at €42,000.

His younger brother, on the other hand, received 199ac of land, valued then at €3 million.

This area was promised to the complainant in 1997, before he fell out with his mother, causing her to revoke her old will.

Since then, the man has worked as a hackney driver after being forced out of the family business in 2007, which included a farm and a concrete firm.

The case – titled ‘K v K’ – was heard by Mr. Justice McDonald, who said that the mother “did fail in her moral duty to make proper provision for the plaintiff in her last will”, and that the man successfully demonstrated this.

The judge pointed out that “there are very deep divisions within the family” and urged them to settle out-of-court, as he felt that a court-imposed finding would only pull the family further apart.

The judge added that the circumstances surrounding the man’s expulsion from the family business were “particularity harsh”, given the fact that his contributions to the farm were significantly more extensive than that of his two brothers.

Continuing, the judge said that the man’s lack of experience outside of the family farm – which hindered his employment prospects – was ignored by the mother.

Mr. Justice McDonald asserted that “a just and prudent parent would, in my opinion, have made more significant provision for him”.

The underlying resentment in the family seems to have arisen from a property dispute throughout 2001/2002, which the judge said had caused “significant resentment” on the mother’s part.