Last Will and Testament overturned as a result of ‘undue influence’

Published: 28/03/2013

The Last Will and Testament of a 96-year-old mother of two has been overturned after a judge ruled it had been written under the undue influence of one of her sons.

Jessica Schrader had originally made a Will in 1990 which saw her house shared equally between her two sons, Nick and Bill. However, in April 2006, she updated her Will and named Nick as the sole beneficiary.

The Will was subsequently challenged by other son, Bill on the grounds of a lack of capacity and improper influence. While Mrs Schrader was regarded as both alert and active, Mr Justice Mann upheld the challenge and reinstated the original Will concluding that although ‘she understood the new Will, Nick had exerted undue influence in getting her to change it’.

Mr Justice Mann continued:

“He [Nick] was a forceful man with a forceful physical presence. He was a powerful personality and his mother was much more vulnerable.

“He is, in my view, somewhat obsessed with his feelings towards his brother and a feeling that they were treated unequally by their parents throughout their lives. As far as I can see this perception of inequality is unjustified.”

Nick Schrader, who was described as “aggressive, short-tempered and violent”, had previously been jailed for assault in 2004. He now not only loses half of the house, valued at £320,000, he also faces legal costs of £110,000.

Content correct at time of publication

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