Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Saturday, March 8, 2014

82 Year Old Man Wins Back His Inheritance

Window cleanerCecil Bray had a retirement job as a driver, which he quit so that he could spend more time taking care of his aunt Julie Spalding. He ran her errands and organized her financial affairs. In return for his care, Mrs. Spalding said she would “compensate” him by leaving him an inheritance in her will. After death, Julie Spalding's will indicated that she was leaving her entire estate to a window cleaner. Now, a judge has reversed Mrs. Spalding's final will and has ordered the window cleaner to pay it all back.

Mrs. Spalding originally drafted a will in 2003, which left the majority of her money and her residence worth more than £300,000 to her nephew. However, after a series of falls that Mrs. Spalding sustained she changed. Her personality and mood completely changed and as a result, caused Mr. Bray to be banished from her home and out of her life. Following the "excommunication", Spalding turned to her window cleaner Albert Pearce. For many years, Mr. Bray considered himself Mrs. Spalding’s "favorite nephew" but under the circumstances, his family told him it would be best to avoid contact with Mrs. Spalding to prevent her from becoming stressed. When Mrs. Spalding died in 2008, she left everything to Mr. Pearce. 

See Damien Gayle, Elderly Man Wins Back Promised £300,000 Inheritance After 'Curmudgeonly' Aunt Shut Him Out and Left it All to the Window Cleaner, Daily Mail, Mar. 7, 2014.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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