“Secret Trusts” – an unusual inheritance dispute

Perhaps unsurprisingly the newspaper article provides little detail about the legal arguments in this case. But it appears to be based upon the existence of a secret trust, which would not be advisable since they rely wholly upon the trustee to do what they are asked to do after the death. 

Mrs Titcombe stated that Mr Ison (the beneficiary in the will) was part of the video call where it was agreed. 

This was always going to be a difficult case to prove as it is classic “he says/she says”. 

Nevertheless an interesting case.

A businesswoman today lost her bitter inheritance fight over the family jewels after her wealthy aunt left her £6million fortune to an ex-British Airways air steward she met on a cruise. Julia Titcombe, 46, said her rich and 'unconventional' aunt Patricia Thompson promised her treasured £150,000 jewellery collection to her in a Skype call before she died. But when globetrotting multi-millionaire Ms Thompson died in Monte Carlo in February 2015, she left her entire £6million estate to former senior purser, Neil Ison, 54, who she had befriended on a cruise ship holiday years earlier.