The High Court has ruled that a builder who became the subject of an inheritance dispute after being left £500,000 by a man whose gutters he used to clean has been told by the High Court that he can keep the bequest.
The contested will, which had been made by a 75-year-old man only two months before his death, left everything to the builder, contradicting and overturning a 2011 will in which he had left his estate to be shared between a cousin, as well as friends and a few extended family; he had no other close family.
In reaching his judgement the judge at the High Court in London said that family lawyers representing the builder had amply refuted claims by the opposing legal team that the builder was “dishonest” or a “forger”. Instead, said the judge, there was “nothing suspicious” about the builder who had nurtured a friendship with the pensioner after helping him by clearing out a gutter for free six years before his 2013 death. Furthermore, the builder made for “a truthful and straightforward witness” in describing how he had been kind to the pensioner, performing odd jobs for him when asked.
The pensioner had been in good mental health at the time of making the disputed will, added the judge.
“The decision is going to be a very difficult one for the family,” concluded the judge.
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