The Court of Appeal has rejected an appeal by the RSPCA over a will in which an elderly woman’s £2.3 million estate was to pass to it in its entirety.
The woman’s daughter had the will set aside on the ground that her father had a ‘coercive influence’ over her mother. She claimed he effectively forced her mother into executing a ‘mirror will’ to his own, which provided that on the second death, the entire estate (which included substantial farming property) should go to the charity. After he died, her mother did not change her will, which also specifically disinherited the daughter.
The Court upheld the daughter's claim, awarding costs against the RSPCA.
The judgment of the court is expected shortly.
This is the first of two high-profile cases involving challenges to wills benefiting the the RSPCA.