Page last updated at 13:13 GMT, Friday, 5 March 2010

Brothers win 600,000 will battle

Two brothers will inherit their father's Norfolk farm following a High Court dispute that has left the family riven by "suspicion and distrust".

Richard and John Key accused their two sisters of plying their father, George, with drink and pills before he signed a will leaving them £300,000 each.

Mr Justice Briggs rejected the claim but ruled Mr Key, then 89, did not have the legal capacity to sign in 2006.

The farmer's memory was failing and his wife had died a week earlier, he said.

It means the sisters will receive £15,000 each under a will made in 2001.

Their brothers, Richard and John Key, will keep Hall Farm in Mundham, along with the lion's share of their father's estate.

'Underlying wounds'

The will dispute, said the judge, had transformed once "close and caring" brothers and sisters into a family riven by "suspicion, recrimination and distrust".

It had reached the extent that an enormously costly three-day High Court trial was necessary to settle their differences, he added.

Mr Justice Briggs said he "entertained no expectation" that his ruling "will heal the underlying wounds".

He said he could understand Mary Boykin's "heartfelt sense of unfairness" on reading the 2001 will which left almost everything to her brothers.

She and her sister said the 2006 will represented a much fairer division of assets between the four children.

During the case, Richard Key said his father had wanted him and his brother to have the farm because they had worked in the family business from the age of 15.

Branding his sisters "disgusting", he claimed they had forced their father to sign the will, "orchestrating" a "pre-meditated plan" to "procure" his signature.

Rejecting those accusations, the judge said Mr Key had "allowed his suspicions about his sisters' conduct to seriously interfere with his objectivity".



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Sisters 'made father sign will'
22 Feb 10 |  Norfolk

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific