High Court Upheld £10 million Will

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    The controversial will of a wealthy woman who left £10million to the owners of a Chinese restaurant has been upheld.

    Golda Bechal, 88, left the money to Kim Sing Man and his wife Bee Lin Man, who she reportedly called her ‘best friends’, before she died.

    Despite claims by her family that she did not know what she was doing when she made the Will, it was upheld by the High Court last week.

    A judge said Mrs Bechal, despite her failing memory, appreciated the effect of her August 1994 Will in which she left almost her entire fortune to Mr and Mrs Man. The court rejected a challenge by her five nephews and nieces who claimed they were entitled to inherit her estate.

    The judge, Sir Donald Rattee, declared: ‘The Will executed by Mrs Bechal in August 1994 was valid.’

    Mrs Bechal died in January 2004, leaving a portfolio of commercial properties. The judge accepted evidence from Mr and Mrs Mann that Mrs Bechal, who was lonely after the death of her husband and of her son Peter at the age of 28, became almost part of their family.

    They went on foreign holidays with her and there were regular get-togethers at their restaurant and at her flat in Mayfair, central London. Mr Man visited her whenever he was in London to buy restaurant supplies.

    Mr Man and his wife denied there were any ‘suspicious circumstances’ surrounding the making of the Will.

    The judge accepted they played no part when Mrs Bechal filled in a Will form, supplied by Barclays Bank, or when the Will was drawn up by the bank and executed.

    The nephews and nieces argued that, even if their aunt understood the effect of making a Will, there were doubts over whether she appreciated the extent of her wealth, which was held by two property companies.

    The nephews and nieces who challenged the Will were ordered by Mr Justice Rattee to pay the Mans’ costs of £450,000.

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