Woman granted £1.2m from father’s estate even after family fall-out

A woman has been granted £1.2m despite being written out of her father’s will after they had disputes in the later years of his life.

The judge found that the woman was eligible for the monies as she had worked on the family farm for 30 years to enable her in inherit it.

Lucy Ann Andrews worked with her father for many years. She claimed he had told her that she would take over the dairy unit when he retired and inherit the entire farm when both he and his wife had died.

In 2008, Andrews declined an offer to run the farm in partnership with her parents, and five years later she left the business after a dispute with her sister. The father died a year later, and left the farm to the sister, who closed the dairy unit.

Andrews made a claim that the farm should be transferred to her in 2016 on the basis that she had worked for several years on that understanding.

Her sister argued that by declining the offer to partner with her parents, Andrews had indicated to their father that the long-time understanding was no longer in place.

The judge awarded Andrews £1.2m, around half the value of the farm. This would be enough to acquire a viable dairy unit and associated land to run her own business.

The fact that she had declined the opportunity to go into partnership with her parents was not a reason for her to forfeit her expected inheritance.

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Cases featured

Woman awarded £1.2m from father’s estate despite family fall-out
[2019] EWCA Civ 890
CA (Civ Div) (Lewison LJ, Moylan LJ, Rose LJ) 23/05/2019