Fight for a Gift of Love; Wealthy Farmer's Devoted Family Still Battling after 16 Years for the Inheritance Which Should Have Kept Their Precious Home and Land - but Which Has Vanished Instead into the Coffers of a Succession of Legal Advisers

By Mega, Marcello | The Mail on Sunday (London, England), December 16, 2001 | Go to article overview

Fight for a Gift of Love; Wealthy Farmer's Devoted Family Still Battling after 16 Years for the Inheritance Which Should Have Kept Their Precious Home and Land - but Which Has Vanished Instead into the Coffers of a Succession of Legal Advisers


Mega, Marcello, The Mail on Sunday (London, England)


Byline: MARCELLO MEGA

When wealthy farmer James Clark knew he was losing a long fight against cancer, his final concern was to secure the future of those nearest to him, especially the three beloved children from his first marriage.

His [pound]2.2 million estate should have ensured their future comfort - and enabled his eldest son, James, to take the farming business into the next generation. He signed his will 16 years ago, at the age of 52.

Yet his children and first wife have received just a tiny share of the estate, most of which has vanished into the pockets of lawyers supposedly battling for their rights.

A judicial report into the saga, ordered last year by Lord Dawson, came down strongly on the family's side and accused the original executors of failing to act in a proper and equitable manner. But still no money has been returned.

Now, sickened by the behaviour of some advisers, the family has joined the Scotland Against Crooked Lawyers pressure group, setting in train a number of complaints and actions against their former legal eagles.

Son James, 32, who now lives in Edinburgh, says angrily: 'It was hard enough to cope with the death of our father but, over the months that followed, we realised that the people we trusted were going behind our backs.

'My sisters, Carolyn and Joanna, and my mother, intended to put their share of the estate back into the farms so that I could farm my father's land.

'That was denied us. The home we grew up in was sold without our being consulted. All our roots just slipped away from us and we had nothing to show for it.' The family's effective disinheritance is, they claim, a story of greed and betrayal.

A fortnight before he died in 1985, Mr Clark drew up the will, leaving each of his children and his second wife, Anne, a quarter share-out.

There were outstanding debts of about [pound]500,000 - but he was satisfied he had made ample provision.

Then, on the night of December 4, sometime after 10pm and less than eight hours before his death, Mr Clark signed another two documents which have been the subject of bitter dispute ever since.

In these, he made Anne a partner in his farming business at Nether Pitlochie, Upper Pitlochie and Leckiebank in Fife. The partnership was to run for ten years.

He also granted a lease in her favour for three years at an annual rent of [pound]55,000 - which was never paid to the estate.

Letters from his lawyer in the weeks prior to his death and notes based on telephone conversations indicate that he was under pressure to form the partnership but he appeared reluctant.

What, then, caused him to sign the new documents.

His first wife, Joan Pentland-Clark, says: 'My husband was a good man and a good businessman.

He intended to make adequate provision for the children and he had been extremely fair to me.

'Unfortunately, he didn't realise that his second wife was looking after her own interests or that one of his closest friends, a man who had known the children all their lives, would be party to a series of actions that would effectively disinherit them.' Mr Clark entrusted the execution of his estate to 32-year-old Anne and to his solicitor cousin, Jack Wilson, who has since died.

Eight days after Mr Clark's death, an old friend, Patrick Wilson, became an additional executor.

In August 1986, Anne resigned as an executor but not before she and the other executors had agreed a number of decisions in her favour.

Days after becoming an executor, Mr Wilson wrote to the Clydesdale Bank - owed money by the estate - claiming that the partnership had been formed first, Anne's lease granted second and the farmer's will signed third. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Fight for a Gift of Love; Wealthy Farmer's Devoted Family Still Battling after 16 Years for the Inheritance Which Should Have Kept Their Precious Home and Land - but Which Has Vanished Instead into the Coffers of a Succession of Legal Advisers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.