A farmer's son has been awarded the sole ownership of a farming business, on the basis that it had been promised to him many years before.
His father is still living, but is now mentally incapacitated. The son had worked on the family farm in Wiltshire since he was a young man, receiving modest pay for his efforts. In 1998 he was made a salaried partner by his father, becoming a full equity partner in 2003. However, by 2008 the father had begun to exhibit the early signs of Alzheimer's disease. As a result the son was required to assume greater responsibility for running the farm.
Unfortunately the father's mental decline led to rows occurring with his son. This in turn resulted in the father making a new will, the terms of which disinherited the son. The son therefore launched a legal claim, alleging that his father had specifically promised him the farm such that he had every expectation of receiving the whole farm and the farming business in due course.
It was in reliance on these promises that the son devoted his working life to looking after the farm and the business.
The claim was defended and reference was made to the will as proof that the father had changed his mind about his son's entitlement to the family farm.
The son argued that his father had been acting under the influence of his wife. The son didn't get along with the wife, who was keen for their daughter to receive a share of the business.
The court accepted the son's equitable estoppel claim to his father's share of the farming asset. It was ordered that the partnership between father and son should be dissolved. However the court ruled that the father and his wife should continue to occupy the farmhouse and receive an income of £200 a week from the farming business, together with health and care costs.
We specialise in beneficial interest claims including disputes relating to equitable estoppel. No win, no fee funding is available where the merits of the case a good. For a FREE initial assessment and consideration of No Win - No Fee funding call us on 0808 139 1599 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org