TWO sisters are locked in a mammoth £500,000 battle after one claimed her sibling used lockdown to “control” their mum to change her will.
Julie Sinclair was cut from the will on June 18, 2021 – around a month before mum Betty passed away aged 89.
2Julie Sinclair is battling her sister over their mother’s willCredit: Champion NewsHer sister Helyn Sinclair had been staying with Betty at the £500,000 home in Selsey, West Sussex, as a live-in carer during Covid.
Julie claims she received a text from her sister a week before the will was changed, reading: “You have f**ked over my life for too long”.
She went to the High Court begging a judge to uphold an earlier version of the document in 2015 that split the estate equally.
But Deputy Master Bowles refused on the basis the original will had not appeared before him at the top court.
The judge also said the case had a “strange feel to it” after he heard nothing from Helyn.
He has now demanded the original 2015 will be disclosed within 14 days so the case can be heard.
The court was told Helyn moved in with her mum at the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
Betty’s mental state soon deteriorated and she had “very little contact” with anyone else, it was said.
Julie said her mum went from being “sharp as a knife” to “withdrawn and vacant”.
Her barrister Adam Smith-Roberts said: “Helyn was the only point of contact the deceased had with the outside world and she controlled who could visit and speak to the deceased up until her death.
“There is evidence of the deceased’s cognitive function and particularly her memory having deteriorated over the lockdown period.
“The relationship between Helyn and the rest of the family became further strained over the lockdown period, with Helyn restricting contact with the deceased and becoming increasingly erratic.”
Around a week before the new will was signed, the lawyer said Helyn sent a “suspicious” message to her sister on WhatsApp.
It read: “I am no longer prepared to knock myself out for you to benefit from half the house when mum does eventually pass on…while I’m more than happy to look after mum, I am not prepared to do it for you to ultimately benefit from it.
“My financial gain from mum’s estate has been 28.5p per hour so far for 24/7 intensive care from attendance allowance and many thousands gain for you saved by not having to contribute for care required. You have f**ked my life over for too long and it stops now.”
The court was told Helyn is a “volatile character who put emotional pressure on the deceased”.
Mr Smith-Roberts said: “These factors, combined with the execution of the 2021 will which substantially benefited Helyn and the lack of explanation for the change to exclude Julie, make undue influence the most likely scenario.”
The case will return to court at a later date.
2The sisters are at war over the £500,000 homeCredit: Champion News
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk