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Probate disputes case studies – My brother died leaving two families

The deceased had lived with his brother for many years, having come over to England after World War 2 from the West Indies. He left a wife in the West Indies and several children. Gradually he paid for some of the children to come over to England, but he became estranged from his wife, although they never divorced.

During his time in England, he took up a relationship with another woman and they had a child who had learning difficulties. The child’s mother died when he was 14 and he was taken into care. In adulthood he went to live with a friend who became like a father figure to him and cared for him. He was not able to hold down a full time job.

He continued to see his father on a regular basis.

His father left his house and savings to his brother who had lived with him.

Both his wife and son took brought Court proceedings against the brother, stating that his money should be divided between them.

Unfortunately the brother died before the Court proceedings had completed.

Various negotiations were put forward with regard to settlement between the son and the wife but the wife would not agree to any settlement and the matter proceeded to a Trial.

The Judge ordered that most of the money should go to the son. The wife had by then emigrated to Canada, to live with her daughter. A small amount of money was given to the wife to take into account her marriage to the deceased, although the marriage had in effect ended by 1960.

The Court also took into account the fact that the son had learning difficulties and on the death of his carer, who was considerably older than him, he would not have anywhere to live.

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