Unfortunately, the nature of this business can present cases which can only enrage you. It’s not all families reuniting over a relative passing. Sometimes, you see a darker opportunistic side to people which can make you question their moral fibre. We are used to having intestates with shady pasts, but this isn’t the case here. Instead, one intestate was the victim of an opportunistic lodger taking advantage of his mental status.

The background

Our intestate Michael Johnson passed in February 2021. He had no wife or children. Despite being born years earlier, Michael’s brother Randall had no knowledge of his existence. Since Michael’s parents abandoned him at birth, Randall didn’t know he had a younger brother. Sadly, they never got to meet. As you may expect, it came as a shock for 85-year-old Randall to hear he had a brother and was set to inherit from his estate. However, the case got stranger still…

Whilst working on the case, relatives informed us that Michael had a Lodger. He was one to keep to himself so his relatives found this to be strange. Michael suffered from dementia for a number of years, which was gradually worsening over time. In his vulnerable state, a young man called Andrew convinced Michael that he was his carer and began living with him. Andrew was not a registered nurse or carer and did not work on behalf of any registered company.

The unlawful will

We believe that Andrew was a neighbour of Michael and saw an opportunity to take advantage of an elderly man with dementia. However, it seems his intentions were even more calculated than just securing a free place to stay by posing as Michael’s carer. At the height of Michael’s dementia, he was coerced into making a Will leaving everything to Andrew. Michaels mental state was clearly questionable, and he was exploited because of his confusion.

Michael left behind a grand estate made up mostly by his house worth around £500,000. The newly formed Will would have left everything to Andrew. However, after learning of the situation, the Will is definitely a cause of dispute. Blanchards represent the rightful beneficiary, his brother Randall who is planning to contest the Will. In light of Michael’s dementia diagnosis, the Will is legally void. However, Andrew has also taken legal action to ensure that the Will stands and he inherits. We hope that it doesn’t go as far as the courts, but it is always a possibility in this industry. The case is ongoing, but you can only trust in the judiciary system to ensure the right party inherits. We are confident.

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