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Will challenge based on fraudulent calumny

JUNE 2017

The Central London County Court, in the case of Marcou v Christodoulides, has recently decided a challenge to a Will based on a claim of fraudulent calumny.

The deceased, Agni Lacovou, died in 2012. She was survived by her two daughters, Niki and Androulla. Agni made a Will, leaving everything to Niki. She did so because she thought that Androulla had either stolen or helped herself to some of Agni’s assets, which had significant value.

Androulla challenged the Will on two grounds. First, that it was prepared by Agni whilst she was suffering from the undue influence of Niki. Secondly, that the Will was procured by the fraudulent calumny of Niki. Fraudulent calumny is a claim that someone (Niki) made a false representation to the testator (Agni) with the purpose of causing the testator (Agni) to exclude another (Androulla) from benefiting from the Will.

Androulla claimed that, contrary to her mother’s understanding, she had not stolen any of her assets and that Niki had poisoned their mother’s mind into thinking that she had so that Androulla would be cut out of the Will.

The Court agreed with Androulla, held that Agni’s Will had been procured by the fraudulent calumny of Niki and declared the Will invalid.

We provide a free case assessment and in many cases can offer a ‘No Win No Fee’ arrangement. If you are concerned about the validity of a Will, or are involved in an inheritance dispute, call 01271 340655 for an initial, confidential and free discussion with Tim Watson.


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