Brothers feud over mother's Will

Two brothers are currently embroiled in a court battle over the estate of their mother Lena Hirst who suffered from Alzheimer's and died at the age of 75 in December 2005.

Mrs Hirst had written a Will in which she stated that her estate should be divided in equal shares between her two sons - solicitors Harry Hirst and the younger businessman Barry Hirst.  Barry Hirst has since made a claim through the High Court, saying he has received nothing from the estate valued at hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The mother's home, valued at £183,000 at the time of her death in 2005, was transferred into Harry Hirst's name three years before her death, and Barry claims she was suffering from senile dementia when she consented to the transfer of assets to his brother. He also claims that £100,000 of the estate was transferred to the firm of solicitors were Harry works, "allegedly to create a trust for the two brothers" according to Barry's solicitor, but that it has since been transferred to Harry Hirst alone. He is calling for this money to be returned to her estate.

Harry Hirst is also making a counter claim against his brother saying that he removed £150,000 of the estate from a safety deposit box. A four-day-trial is to take place in April.

If you have not yet made a Will it is very important that you take the time to do so in order to ensure that your wishes for your estate and how it is distributed to your loved ones are fulfilled. Failure to write a Will means your estate will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy which might not always mirror your wishes. Making a Will might also save you on inheritance tax, and if you are co-habiting with a partner it will also ensure that they can receive a portion or all of your estate as you see fit, as they may otherwise receive nothing under the rules of intestacy. For free information on making a Will contact Wilson Nesbitt solicitors in Belfast by emailing .

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