Our client instructed us when his brother (the claimant) challenged the will of their late mother. Under the will, our client received the family home in which he lived with his mother and his family, meaning that he inherited a larger share of the overall estate than the claimant. The will had been made by a solicitor and signed by their mother using her thumbprint, as she had a condition which made it difficult for her to write. Their mother had moved to England from India in the 1960s and the claimant alleged that his mother could not have understood the will because it was in English and she did not read or write or understand English, despite her living and working in England for over 40 years.
The parties obtained expert evidence, and evidence from over 15 witnesses as to the testatrix’s ability to understand English. The case progressed to a fully contested trial lasting four days. The court dismissed the claimant’s claim, agreeing with our client that the will was valid, with the claimant also being ordered to pay our client’s legal costs, as well as his own.