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Will dispute

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Will Dispute

 

Alison Walker 31 and Jennifer Rowan 32 are fighting to have their mother’s will overturned after she left her fortune to her partner, Mr Badmin.

Alison and Jennifer claim Elizabeth Walker was suffering from a brain tumour that affected her judgment when she left the bulk of her estate, estimated at £1.2 million to her partner 23 years her junior, Mr Badmin.

They are asking the High Court to overturn the will, which was written just months before she died in 2010.

The main asset in the inheritance dispute is a 50% share in Denge Wood Farm, a 90 acre property in Canterbury.

Mr Badmin said in response to the claim that despite the significant age gap he and Ms Walker were in a “very loving relationship”, adding that she had wanted him "to have a roof over his head" after she died.

He said that they met when he was in his early 20’s and that they began an affair in Christmas 2005.

The couple kept their relationship a secret for 2 years until Ms Walker separated from her husband of more than 20 years.

Ms Walker’s will left her share in Denge Wood Farm to Mr Badmin “on trust for life”, with the legacy set to pass on to her daughters on his death.

The rest of her estate was split 50% to Mr Badmin and 50% to her daughters.  

The sisters claim their mother’s brain tumour, which was diagnosed in June 2009, 6 months before the will was written and signed, caused episodes of psychosis, hallucinations and paranoia.

Ms Walker’s youngest daughter Alison said her dying mother could not have understood the true impact of the document, adding that her cancer “changed her perception of everything”.

Commenting on Mr Badmin she said that, "she (her mother) would have made provision for him, but I don't think she would have made the kind she did. I don't think she understood what the will actually meant".

The daughters’ barrister told the court that Ms Walker, "failed utterly to engage in the process" when giving solicitors instructions to draft her will, and "very much took a back seat - relying on Mr Badmin throughout".

He also suggested the pair were going through difficulties, with Ms Walker voicing “reservations about their relationship” resulting in regular arguments.

Mr Badmin’s barrister maintained that the Ms Walker, although frail, remained sufficiently "on the ball", noting that she was a highly capable individual with a tight grasp of financial matters.

The case continues.


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