Sister Files Lawsuit Against Brother Over Late Mother's £500k Estate

A sister is suing her brother, whom she dubbed a "sicknote," after their mother left him her entire £500,000 fortune, a court heard. Carol Scott, 77, left home at 19 to build a career and family, while her brother, John Jones, 75, lived with their mother, Muriel Jones, his entire life until her death in April 2017. Muriel resided close to all her children in Surrey until 2012, when she moved to rural Wiltshire with Mr. Jones and his wife, Bronwen. Subsequently, she drafted a new will, leaving everything to Mr. Jones, a retired builder, and excluding the rest of the family entirely.


Now, Ms. Scott, supported by her other brother, Peter, is suing Mr. Jones, both the beneficiary and executor of their mother's will. She claims her brother, whom she called "a sicknote who always had something wrong with him," isolated their mother and exerted a "drip drip" influence over her, leading to him inheriting the entire estate. Ms. Scott also argues that their mother did not fully understand the will she signed.


Lawyers for Mr. Jones argue that he and his wife provided round-the-clock care for Muriel in her final years and that her last will reflected his status as the only sibling without property. Judge Simon Monty KC, at Central London County Court, heard that Muriel and her husband Ronald lived in Ripley, Surrey, near Carol and Peter, until 2012. Mr. Jones and his wife had been living with his parents. After Ronald’s death, it was decided Muriel should sell her home, with Ms. Scott believing she intended to buy a nearby bungalow. However, two weeks before selling her house, Muriel announced she was moving nearly 100 miles away to an "isolated" house down a farm track near Trowbridge, Wiltshire, with Mr. Jones and his wife.


Ms. Scott testified that she was shocked and "upset" by the move, attributing it to her brother’s "influence" over their increasingly "frail" mother. She described the new location as remote, with limited accessibility for her mother. "It was down a long, narrow track. There was no way my mother could get out independently. They took her independence away," she said. Ms. Scott also criticized her mother's living conditions in Wiltshire, where she resided in a granny annexe next to the main house. "She didn’t have any heating when we visited. She was sitting under a blanket with no fire on," Ms. Scott said. "She stayed in bed every day until the afternoon because the fire wasn’t lit until then. She used to say it was dirty and not very nice."


Ms. Scott seeks to uphold a 2010 will that granted Mr. Jones a lifetime right to live in their mother’s home, but then divided it equally between Ms. Scott, another sibling, Carl Jones, who is not part of the lawsuit, and Bronwen. Peter received nothing under either will, having been given money by his parents to start a hairdressing business. The case continues.