Singer / song writer, and star of the TV show ‘The Voice’, Bo Bruce has won her court battle with her viscount brother over their late mother’s estate.
Bo, full name Lady Catherine Anna Brudenell-Bruce, accused her brother Thomas, Viscount Savernake of ignoring his responsibilities to her as executor of their late mother’s Will.
The pop star’s late mother Lady Rosalind had left her estate in equal shares to the siblings. This included a £2million property known as Leigh Hill House.In 2015 Bo Bruce expressed her desperate need for money and wanted to sell the house but her brother disagreed and wanted the property to remain in the family. Instead he agreed to continue living there and pay Ms Bruce £20,000 annual rent to reflect her half ownership ultimately buying her out.
In 2019, with no progress in a sale or buyout, and after spending years trying to convince her brother to sell, Ms Bruce started legal proceedings in the High Court to force her brother to fulfil his role as executor. The Judge, Deputy Master Linwood, said the case was “an unfortunate case of sibling distrust” and that due to the “breakdown in relations” it was necessary to remove the viscount from his role as the executor.
He did not accept that the administration of the estate has been or will in the future be carried out properly. Although he found no wrongdoing on the viscount’s part for wanting to keep the property within the family, he did fail to uphold his responsibility as an executor of the will, therefore it was in the best interest of both beneficiaries to replace him with an independent executor.It was claimed the Viscount had a clear conflict of interest – as both beneficiary and representative of the estate, and as a potential buyer of the house.
The Judge ruled in favour of Ms Bruce which will allow her to sell the house almost a decade later and receive her inheritance.
If you have a query regarding a contested estate, contact our experts in our contentious probate team here.
This article was written by Catherine Loadman, Partner in our Contested Wills and Probate Team. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of February 2022.