Children fail to revoke Will leaving £6.7m to charity

The four children of multi-millionaire Alfred Stewart have failed in their bid to revoke his Will leaving almost all of his £6.7million estate to charity, and nothing to them.

The children had tried to assert that their father suffered from delusional thinking and lacked testamentary capacity to make a valid Will. The court heard of behaviour of the deceased which the judge called "repugnant", including abusive behaviour to his first wife, a distant relationship with his children, and accusations of sexual abuse of a child. Judge Lord Brailsford held however, that the behaviour was irrelevant with regard to the matter of testator's mental capacity, and that the children had not established that their father's "paranoid personality disorder was of such delusional intensity as to deprive him of testamentary capacity."

Before amendments were made to the testator's Will, two of his children, Linden Stephen and Leonie Griffin, stood to inherit property, but those gifts were revoked. Because the children failed to show that the amendments to the Will were made while suffering from a mental disorder, the Will and its most recent amendments were upheld. Almost all of the £6.7million estate would be left to a charitable trust, and his four children would receive nothing.

If you require legal advice in respect of making or challenging a Will in Northern Ireland, contact one of the probate solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9293. Alternatively, to arrange a callback from one of the solicitors submit your contact details online by clicking here.