Daughters contest Will leaving fortune to mother's young lover

By Lenore Rice

Two daughters are challenging the Will of their mother that left most of her £1.2million estate to her lover who was 23 years younger than her.

Alison Walker and Jennifer Rown, aged 31 and 32 respectively, are contesting the Will of their mother Elizabeth Walker at the High Court. As part of her divorce Elizabeth received a 50 per cent share in Denge Wood Farm in Canterbury, valued at £1.2million. A few months before her death from cancer in 2010 Elizabeth wrote a Will leaving her share in the farm to her young partner Michael Badmin "on trust for life", which will pass to her daughters in the event of Michael's death. Michael was 23 years younger than Elizabeth Walker, and is of a similar age to her daughters, so they are very unlikely to receive much benefit from the trust. The Will also left half of the rest of her estate to Mr Badmin, with the other half being split between Elizabeth's two daughters.

The High Court has heard that Elizabeth and Mr Badmin began an affair in 2005, which carried on in secret for 2 years until her divorce, and carried on until the time of her death in 2010.

Elizabeth's daughters say that her judgment was affected by her brain tumour when she made the Will, and that she would not have understood the implications of the Will on their inheritance. They told the court how her illness had "changed her affections" and made her become a 'stranger' to her own grandchildren. The daughters do believe that their mother would have wanted to make sure Mr Badmin received something from her estate, but do not think she would have intended so much of the inheritance to go to him.

The hearing has yet to be completed.

If you would like to receive information about contesting a Will, writing or updating a Will, inheritance tax, lasting powers of attorney, or any other matter, contact one of the solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt in Northern Ireland by calling 0800 840 9293.