Court Rejects Undue Influence Claim

When estate assets are not divided as potential beneficiaries think they should be, disagreements often result. When there is a second family involved, legal challenges are relatively common.

In a recent case, Jean Gorjat, a multi-millionaire electronics engineer, died only months after transferring £1.8 million into accounts held jointly with his second wife, Lucretia de Barelli Gorjat.

Her step-children alleged the transfers were made as a result of her exercising undue influence over the 77-year-old and that he lacked mental capacity. He died intestate and the balances on the accounts were transferred to accounts held in his widow’s name.

The court rejected the claims of Mr Gorjat’s children, finding that their father was in full possession of his faculties and there was no undue influence. Evidence was given that Mr Gorjat disapproved of the lifestyles led by his children.

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