Court battle over grandmother’s inheritance

Court battle over grandmother’s inheritance

Two sisters have found themselves locked in a bitter dispute with their father over an inheritance their grandmother intended to split between the three of them.

LadBible reports that Katie and Abbie Rodgers from Darlington were close to their grandmother growing up as their mum and dad divorced when the sisters were children. Their father had no contact with them as teenagers.

Sylvia Rodgers died in 2017 following a diagnosis of cancer. After her husband George died in 2015, she changed the executor of her estate to her son, Gary. However, when the sisters did not receive their inheritance one year after her death, they took legal advice.

Estate supposed to be split three ways

The estate was supposed to be split three ways, with Katie and Abbie receiving £44,000 each.

Earlier this year, a court hearing ordered Gary Rodgers to hand over the documentation, bank statements and the sisters’ share of his late mother’s estate. At a High Court hearing on Monday 6 December, the court was told he had not yet complied with the order, and he was given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months under the Contempt of Court Act 1981.

In addition, he was ordered to pay just over £10,000 to cover his daughters’ legal costs.

Sisters close to their grandmother

Katie Rodgers said she and her sister had been very close to their grandmother growing up and spent every weekend at her house. She believes her grandmother made Gary an executor of her will to try to rekindle her son’s relationship with his daughters. Their grandmother had taken over the father’s role.

That they have needed to go to court to force him to hand over the money they are due would have her “turning in her grave” and that she would be “absolutely devastated” at what has happened.

Gary Rodgers claims his type 2 diabetes and mental health issues have prevented him from dealing with the execution of the estate. He has until 7 January 2022 to comply with the original order to hand over the sisters’ share of the estate, the relevant documentation and bank statements relating to the monies.

Increase in family arguments over wills

The consumer champion Which reports that family arguments over inheritance are becoming more common. While the rise in the last year is partly attributed to the pandemic and the increase in the numbers of deaths, other factors play a part, such as complex families, an ageing population and the rise in the number of estates with high value properties.

Which reports that contesting a will can easily cost tens of thousands of pounds even if the case does not go to court. If it does, then costs can rise above £100,000.

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