FATHER’S LATE WILL – EPISODE 1

Written by Graham Perry

29 June 2021

MEDIATION #123

Arnold was married to Beryl, had two children – Celia/Darryl – both married each with three children +living, respectively, in Newmarket/Cambridge. The parents lived together in Bury St Edmonds until Beryl passed away aged 72. Who to look after 79-year-old Dad? Celia arranged for a carer to visit 4 days a week. The children, preoccupied with young children, visited Arnold less frequently. He seemed content + zoom calls showed him to be in good health/spirit.
 
Suddenly Arnold died. The children/grandchildren were upset. Even more so when Arnold chose not to be buried in the adjoining grave to Beryl but some distance away + with the alongside grave reserved for the carer. Questions are asked + uncomfortable answers emerged. Arnold had a relationship with the carer, a middle-aged lady from Manila called Therese. She had moved in six months before his death + conversations with the local GP revealed that his condition, unknown to Celia/Darryl, had been terminal.
 
The reserved plot was for Marnia + questions were soon asked about Arnold’s will. Not only the contents but also the date – executed just three months before death. It was witnessed by a friend of Therese. Money/inheritance/undue influence issues are canvassed with increasing focus. There is tension as Celia/Darryl line up against Therese. The intention of the children to challenge the validity of the will is put on hold while mediation takes place + you are the Mediator.
 
Facts emerge from separate consultations, spread over a week + first with the children + then with Marnia. It emerges that Arnold felt disregarded by Celia/Darryl + had formed a patient-carer relationship which had become quite close. Theresa moved in. The children were unaware because they did not visit. The lines of confrontation are being drawn.

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