Biggins v Biggins: 28 Jan 2000

After the death of his common law wife, the deceased was visited by his brother, and later the brother’s daughter prepared and sent him a draft will. He suggested amendments to his own solicitor who prepared the new will. The brother sought to propound the amended draft, but was opposed by the son who alleged undue influence. An earlier will gave everything to the son. The draft left his bungalow to the son subject to the payment of funeral expenses but the contents were left to his brother and other members of his brother’s family and the residue was divided between the family. The solicitor confirmed he had queried his instructions and had them confirmed by the the deceased who told him he thought his son was sufficiently provided for by the gift of the property and that he wished now to benefit his brother and his brother’s family. The son argued that his father’s free will had been unfairly influenced by the fact that his uncle had visited the deceased at a time when the deceased was ‘unwell, grief stricken and vulnerable’.
Held: Although the deceased was indeed grief stricken and unwell there was no evidence that he was particularly vulnerable and the very fact of his making amendments to the draft Will that was sent to him and the conversation he had with his own Solicitor showed that the deceased had made up his own mind. Undue influence had not been established.
Unreported, 28 January 2000
England and Wales

Updated: 21 May 2021; Ref: scu.234723