Sister wins £2m inheritance battle over brother
Venetia Murray has been awarded a share of her family property valued at £2m, ending a decades-long inheritance battle with her brother, Dale Brunt.
The disagreement between the two siblings first started in 2007 when their brother, Dean Brunt, died. Unmarried and without children at the time of his death, it was believed the Dean had not drawn up a will and died as an “intestate bachelor. This meant that his share of the property passed to his mother, Marlene Brunt, who then passed it on solely to her son Dale.
Murray had believed Dean’s part of the inheritance would automatically be distributed evenly between herself and her surviving brother and was surprised to be informed she had been cut out of her half.
The case was finally settled with an unusual twist in the tale, when a solicitor’s cat accidentally discovered a lost will after bumping into a pile of papers. Within the stack of material, which was destined for the shredder, was a document supplying crucial evidence of Murray’s right to inherit half of her late brother’s share.
Claims by the opposition that the recently recovered will had been fabricated were discounted by Judge Paul Teverson, who presided over the case at London’s High Court. He commented:
“I do not think she would for one moment associate herself with a fraudulent claim.”
The property in question is Ettridge Farm, in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. With an estimated worth of £6m, it originally belonged to the siblings’ grandfather, former prize fighter Arthur Nicholls.