News & Updates

High Court dispute between two sisters over mother's will settled

Date Posted: 02.02.2011

Source: The Irish Times - Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

A DISPUTE between two sisters over their mother’s will has been settled at the High Court.

Valerie Reynolds, Shanganagh Road, Killiney, Co Dublin, had brought an action against her sister Daphne Mackle, Ailesbury Road, Dublin, over the will made by their mother Sheila Collins who died in May 2006, aged 95.

In a will made on July 15th, 2005, Ms Collins, a mother-of-four, had named Ms Mackle, who had lived with her at the family home on Ailesbury Road from 2003, as executor.

Ms Reynolds sought to have the will set aside on grounds of alleged undue influence by Ms Mackle.

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It was claimed that for a period of time before the execution of the will, Ms Mackle had maintained a position of dominance and control over Ms Collins, who was alleged to have suffered from memory loss.

Ms Mackle denied the claims and counter-claimed for an order admitting the will as her mother’s last will and testament.

In her will, Ms Collins left Ms Mackle the family home, plus its contents. Ms Mackle’s three daughters were left €160,000 cash.

The remainder of the estate, including property in Dublin and Galway, was to be divided among Ms Collins’s three other children.

Following talks between the sides, Ms Justice Mary Laffoy was told yesterday by Michael Counihan SC, for Ms Reynolds, that the sides had “resolved their differences”. Máire Whelan SC, for Ms Mackle, said it was agreed Ms Collins’s will of July 2005 could be admitted to probate. No other details were disclosed.

Ms Justice Laffoy said she was “glad the matter had been resolved”.

Earlier, outlining the case for Ms Reynolds, Mr Counihan said that after Ms Collins’s husband died in 2003 at the nursing home where he and his wife were residing, Ms Collins had decided to return to the family home where she lived with Ms Mackle and her family, who had moved there from their home in Nutley Park.

Mr Counihan said Ms Collins was dependent on Ms Mackle and her family. He said Ms Mackle prevented other members of the family having contact with Ms Collins. The defence denied the will was executed under duress or that Ms Collins lacked the mental capacity to assign the property to Ms Mackle. It was also denied Ms Collins suffered from diminished mental health or memory loss.

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