Pembrokeshire farmer’s will overturned

In a recent ruling, the High Court has found in favour of a 79 year old, Joan Thompson. Ms Thompson was left nothing under the will of her partner of 42 years: Wynford Hodge, a Pembrokeshire farmer.

Ms Thompson had worked on Mr Hodge’s farm and the caravan site business without pay and had helped care for Mr Hodge’s mother. Towards the end of his life, Mr Hodge had told Ms Thompson “not to worry as she would be well looked after”.

Mr Hodge died in February 2017 leaving his entire estate (worth £1.5 million) to two tenants of his properties; Karla Evans and Agon Berisha who had occupied the property for just two years but who had worked on his properties and run errands for him.

Mr Hodge left a letter of wishes explaining that Ms Thompson was “financially comfortable” however Judge Milwyn Jarman said that this belief was a ‘mistake’ as Ms Thompson had savings of just £2,500.

The judge awarded Ms Thompson a cottage on the estate (worth £225,000), £160,000 cash for future maintenance and care and £28,845 to adapt the property for Ms Thompsons’ needs.

Rebecca McCarthy is a solicitor in the private client department at Barker Gotelee, Ipswich solicitors.

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