The owner of a brewery who has yet to hand over half of his aunt’s fortune to the charities she left it to in her will has been removed as the executor of her will, an article in the Daily Mail reports.

Henry Bealby inherited about half of his aunt Margaret Foster’s £1.2 million estate. The rest of the money was bequeathed to cancer and lifeboat charities. However, at a hearing in the High Court last week, it was revealed that the money has still not been handed over to the charities some four and a half years after Ms Foster’s death in 2017.

Mr Bealby had been named as the executor of the estate. Judge Gordon Nurse described the case as ‘extraordinary’ as he ordered Mr Bealby to be sacked as executor and appointed a trust company to pursue the money. Mr Bealby was warned that if he continues to act the way he has, he could face contempt of court charges and end up with a prison sentence.

Cat Asylum Brewery

Mr Bealby runs the Cat Asylum Brewery from his family’s former plough workshop in Nottinghamshire, which specialises in trendy beers. The four organisations that Ms Foster listed in her will are the Royal National Lifeboat Institute, MacMillan Cancer Support, the Salvation Army and Leeds homeless charity St George’s Crypt.

Barrister Alexander Learmonth, representing the charities, said none of the money had ever been paid and that Mr Bealby had gone “completely incommunicado”. As far as they could tell, Mr Bealby had taken everything from the estate. When he failed to communicate with the charities, they took him to court to apply for the removal of him as the estate’s executor, something he did not respond to either.

Mr Learmouth told the court that the charities did not know if they would ever receive the share of the £600,000 they were due and the delay had been very worrying.

Ordered to pay charity lawyers’ bills

At the end of the hearing, the judge ordered Mr Bealby to be removed as executor to the estate so that investigations could begin into where the £600,000 has gone. Mr Bealby was also ordered to pay the charities’ £17,738 lawyers’ bills for the hearing, so they weren’t left out of pocket for that.

Mr Bealby did not attend the hearing.

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