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RSPCA appeals against will ruling

9 October 2009

The RSPCA is appealing against a High Court ruling that a Yorkshire farm should be inherited by a widow’s daughter and not bequeathed to the animal charity as stated in the will.

The High Court, sitting in Leeds, ruled that the will, leaving the £2.3m property to the charity and excluding Dr Christine Gill, was invalid because Joyce Gill had been coerced by her husband to make a will contrary to her wishes.

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said the charity was surprised and disappointed by the ruling and concerned about the implications for charities and other groups.

“Throughout this, the RSPCA has been in an extremely difficult position,” she said. “The will left by Dr Gill’s parents was very clear – in one sentence they left their entire estate to the RSPCA, and in the next they said their daughter should receive nothing.

“In that situation the RSPCA cannot just walk away. In fact we are legally obliged to seek the funds under charitable law.”

Dr Gill said in a statement: “I always believed from what my mother said to me, that she wanted to leave me farm. That is what the court has decided today.”

Categorised in:

Company, Consumer, and Contract Charities Wills, Trusts & Probate Local government