A window cleaner is facing jail after he gave away his dead brother’s fortune to the poor, according to a recent story in the Daily Mirror.

Peter Ivory, 58, said he was carrying out his brother’s (Mick Ivory’s) wishes. On his deathbed, Mick had requested Peter ensure the rest of their family didn’t get their hands on his ‘hard-earned money’.

Mick Ivory’s estate included the proceeds of sales from his house in Surrey, his dog Lady and a collection of rare Osmond memorabilia, and was valued at more than £400,000.

Bags of cash

His brother proceeded to give it all away. He is now looking after his brother’s dog and he gave the memorabilia to the Osmond Fan Club. He travelled up and down the country with a bag of cash, giving it away to strangers and homeless people.

His surviving brothers, Alan and John, and nephew, Michael, say the wealth should have been split equally between all of them.

Mick Ivory died in November 2018 without leaving a will. His brother Peter handled his affairs and arranged the sale of his home. But intestacy laws mean Alan, John and Michael should have shared the estate equally as the surviving next of kin.

No money left

Mr Ivory told the court there was no money left, and that Mick had not wanted the rest of the family to inherit. His defence is “donatio mortis causa”, which refers to a gift given by a sick person who is close to death. Peter Ivory says Mick’s deathbed order means he was given the estate before Mick died so there was nothing left to divide among the rest of the family.

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He said his brother had told him to keep all the money but if he didn’t want to, he should give it away. He and his wife travelled as far away as Cambridge from their home in Hendon to find people to give the money to.

 

They gave money to a friend to help them go on holiday, a donation to a school and, because his brother and late wife loved dogs, Peter Ivory also gave money to dog charities.

Three promises

After he was challenged about the estate, Peter Ivory wrote to his brother Alan telling him Mick had made him promise three things—that he would look after his dog, ensure his late wife’s Osmond memorabilia went to a good home, and to make sure Alan got nothing. In the letter, Peter said Mick hated the thought of Alan’s wife having access to his money.

Simon Douglas, representing Alan, John and Michael, said Peter Ivory had no evidence about his dead brother’s alleged wishes. Neither was there any proof that he had given it away.

Judge Teverson adjourned the case, ordering Mr Ivory to give a full account of the money he has given away. The order included a penal notice, meaning Peter Ivory could face prison if he does not obey it.

 

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