Mother cuts daughter out of her will for being a ‘spendthrift’

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A retired bank manager is fighting for her share of her mother’s estate after her brother inherited the bulk of the money because her mother is said to have branded her a “shopaholic”.

Jean Clitheroe from Essex left her daughter, Susan Bond, out of her Will—an estate worth £325,000 when she died in September 2017. Susan’s lawyer has claimed Mrs Clitheroe was “too unhinged” to draft her last Will and testament.

The Daily Mail reports that Edward Hicks told the High Court in London the mother and daughter fell out after Mrs Clitheroe formed “various delusional beliefs” about her daughter that had no rational foundation. The beliefs included what she thought of her daughter’s spending habits. In the written instructions for the Will she made in 2010, Mrs Clitheroe said she did not want to leave Susan anything as she would “just fritter it away”.

Grief at oldest daughter’s death

Mr Hicks said Mrs Clitheroe turned against Susan after the death of her oldest daughter, Debra, who died in 2009. He argued that the subsequent Wills she made in 2010 and 2013 were invalid because she was not of sound mind thanks to grief over her oldest daughter’s death. He argued that Mrs Clitheroe had in fact died intestate and that her estate should be split equally between Susan and her brother John.

Susan denies being a spendthrift, but her brother John’s lawyer, Henry Hendron, said Mrs Clitheroe was a strong-willed woman and of sound mind.

The 2010 Will left most of her estate to John, while Susan received only a ring that had belonged to a great aunt. The 2013 Will, however, left her nothing at all.

‘Delusional’ beliefs

Mr Hicks said they did not mean to suggest grief affected Mrs Clitheroe’s cognition but that she had formed delusional beliefs about Susan. He also accused John of enforcing the estrangement between mother and daughter by ‘blackening Susan’s name’, although John said he repeatedly tried to get them back together.

Before Debra’s death, the two sisters and their mother were said to enjoy regular shopping expeditions. And Jean herself bought good quality clothes and had purchased a £30,000-worth collection of Swarovski crystals.

Mrs Clitheroe had believed Susan took various items from Debra’s home after her death – an idea that was not true, Mr Hicks told the court.

Daughter ‘rich enough’

Mr Hendron said if Mrs Clitheroe’s belief Susan was a spendthrift was wrong, it was not delusional. She also believed her daughter was rich enough already, having ‘married well’ and retired on a good bank pension.

Susan said the first time she found out she had been cut out of the Will was after the funeral, which she had arranged.

The judge has reserved his ruling in the case.

 

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