Michael Templeman, a barrister and son of a judge, must pay a £350,000 bill after losing a case against his stepsisters over his father’s last will.
Templeman and his brother Peter originally stood to inherit most of an £817,000 inheritance left by their father, Lord Sydney Templeman, but a subsequent will change left a high-valued property to Michael’s second wife Sheila’s daughters.
Lord Templeman was well-known for his sharp mind in court, earning him the nickname “Sid Vicious” from his opponents, but he had suffered from dementia latterly.
Michael took stepdaughters Sarah Edworthy and Jane Goss-Custard to court on the grounds that his father’s disease was so advanced at the time his 2008 will was made, it should be deemed void.
Wills made by Lord Templeman prior to 2008 left just £18,000 to each of the sisters. However, following his death in 2014 at aged 94, his final will bequeath a home to them valued at £580,000. The Exeter-based house, named Mellowstone, came to the late Judge following his wife’s death, built by her and the father of Edworthy and Goss-Custard. The 2008 will indicated he wished it returned to his wife’s family instead of passing to his sons as stated in previous wills made.
The court has ruled in favour of the sisters and Templeman has been instructed by Justice Fancourt presiding over the case to pay the sisters’ costs. The fees are estimated at £350,000 and Templeman must now pay a sum of £200,000 upfront until an accurate assessment of cost has been calculated.