Last Will and Testament overturned due to undue influence

Published: 15/02/2013

Two stepsons have been rightfully restored as heirs to their stepmother’s estate after a judge found her Last Will and Testament to have been signed after undue influence from her brother-in-law.

Marlene Taylor, 75, had previously made a Will in 2005 where she left the entirety of her £594,000 estate to “her boys” David and Paul Taylor with whom she became very close with after marrying their father, Brian.

However after being bombarded with phone calls from her brother in law, Bruce Peskin, she eventually agreed to sign a new Will in 2008 to “get him off her back and have a quiet life” and named his three children as the primary Beneficiaries.

It was revealed in court that Mr Peskin’s persistence was strongly driven by his own financial difficulties and, while he was insistent that his children were named as Beneficiaries, it is believed he harboured hope that this outcome would provide him with financial solace.

Judge Mark Cawson QC comments:

“Not only did his own children stand to benefit under the 2008 Will, but he also had his own financial difficulties – particularly following the collapse of the Icelandic Bank.

“He looked to his children’s inheritance as a way of achieving some form of financial security in future for himself and his wife.”

He concluded by saying:

“There is cogent evidence that the effect of his persistence and pressure was to wear her down – as shown by the conversation she had with a friend, when she burst into tears and said she couldn’t cope with anything anymore and didn’t know what to do about her Will.”

Content correct at time of publication

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