‘Controlling’ Daughter Must Repay Mother’s £293,000 ‘Gift’

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A ‘controlling’ daughter who isolated her frail mother in a care home against her will, and kept her death and funeral a secret from her wider family, has been ordered to repay a £293,000 ‘gift’ into her estate so that it can be distributed in accordance with her will.

The daughter had removed her 85-year-old mother from the home where she had lived for 40 years and where she was desperate to stay. Within weeks, the widow had had been placed in a care home and her daughter had taken determined steps to prevent any contact between her and her other loved ones.

The daughter and her husband subsequently sold the mother’s home and paid the proceeds into their joint account. She insisted that the money was a gift and was needed to pay her mother’s care home fees. She denied that she had been ‘hell-bent’ on moving her mother out of her own home and said that the move into care was for her own good as she was too unwell to be left alone.

After two of the widow’s grandchildren launched proceedings, the High Court found that the daughter was ‘in the ascendency’ over her mother and had brought undue influence to bear. The daughter had, in turn, been ‘dominated’ by her husband, who had changed the locks on her mother’s home on the day she moved out. The Court ordered the £293,000 proceeds of sale to be paid back into the widow’s estate, of which the two grandchildren were entitled to 25 per cent between them.