Court rules in favour of daughter following multi-million pound dispute
The death of Fred McGuinness, a man who built up an extensive business empire after humble beginnings as a “rag and bone” man, triggered divisions within the family.
When the Staffordshire businessman died almost 30 years ago he had left everything to his wife Edith. And when she passed away in 2013 she bequeathed almost everything – including the 11-acre yard – to the couple’s daughter Denise Preece.
In a letter accompanying the will she claimed that she and Denise had been excluded from the business following Mr McGuinness’ death.
Her decision to leave everything to her daughter led to further friction, with Denise’s older brother David arguing that his late father had promised to give shares in the yard to all his children.
The 70-year-old had said it was “unconscionable” that his younger sibling should receive all of the land, cutting out his two brothers and him.
Mr Justice Newey rejected his argument having decided that whatever Mr McGuinness had told David it did not amount to a promise that could be legally enforced.
The Judge did rule, however, that a vintage lorry, worth £10,000, was the son’s rightful property.
For legal advice on making or updating a will please contact Tony Millson and Deanna Hurst in Royds’ Private Client team.