Son who worked entire life on farm disinherited

A son who worked his entire life on his father's farm, on the basis of a 'promise' that it would be his one day, has lost his appeal against being left out of his father's April 2006 Will after the pair had a falling out.

Alan Shirt, aged 64, claims his father Stanley Shirt had told him in 1986 that Syda Farm would be his if he "worked for it", and that he "committed his entire working life" to the running of the farm. However, when his father died in 2011 Alan received nothing from his estate, and his three siblings instead received everything to be divided equally between them.

Alan Shirt's siblings, Lynda Mayhall, aged 67, and brothers Geoff, aged 59, and Jonathan aged 46, all chose a different working career and did not work on the farm according to Alan. He told the court he believed he had a legal and moral right to the farm, having worked on it for so long and helping out with the debt owed on the business.

The judge said that Mr Shirt's case rested on a conversation that took place 24 years before the trial, and that formal documents of land ownership existed to stop these kinds of cases based on spoken promises or any other similar verbal understandings. The court found that Alan Shirt did not have grounds for appeal.

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