When parents changed their wills to exclude their son from inheriting their £1 million farm after a family falling-out in 2016, he took the unusual step of challenging their right to do so. Normally, such challenges are made against the estates of deceased parents.
The son took the step after having, he claimed, done 'arduous' work on the family farm for more than 20 years on the basis of a promise by his 78-year-old parents that he would one day inherit it.
That such a promise had been made was not disputed, but it had been made on the basis that he would act as a 'dedicated, long-term farmer', which his family claimed he had completely failed to do, making instead lifestyle choices that were incompatible with such an undertaking.
The evidence given by the family was sufficient to persuade the court that the son never took an interest in farming. His claim that his parents could not rewrite their wills to remove his entitlement to the farm was rejected and he has been left facing not only the loss of his caravan home on the farm but also six-figure legal costs.