Dispute over pensioner who left builder £500,000 in his will

Rosie Vare
Last Will and Testament with Fountain Pen
Last Will and Testament with Fountain Pen

A family from London are involved in a bitter dispute over a will that left £500,000 to a builder.

Ronald Butcher, 75, struck up a friendship with Daniel Sharp after the builder cleaned the pensioner's gutters for free.

But the family how now claimed that the builder has been lying about his relationship with the pensioner that resulted in his will being changed in 2013, just months before his death, Metro reports.

Mr Butcher's family have requested that Judge Leslie Anderson QC overturn the will, instead putting a previous version in place which would mean they would inherit the vast sum of money.

Mr Sharp has said that the unlikely pair became friends six years before Mr Butcher died, he added that he was shocked to find out the generous pensioner had left him such a vast sum of money.

According to the Evening Standard, he said: "When I first cleaned out his gutter he offered me a tenner or 20 quid for it, but I said no, I wouldn't take it. It was a nothing job that took seconds."

He said when he found out how much he was due to inherit he was shocked, adding: "It's life-changing. Nobody gives you nothing in life."

Mr Sharp also questioned the nature of the pensioners relationship with his family, saying: "I didn't know what's gone on with the others. Obviously there's been a big falling out."

Jennifer Seaman who was representing Mr Sharp, said: "Mr Butcher was a lonely man who found a friend in Mr Sharp. Mr Butcher knew what he was doing when he made the 2013 will and what its effect would be."

The original three beneficiaries of the will were Mr Butcher's cousin Joyce Gilkerson, and Evelyn Hutchins and Peter Rogers, who are the children of a close school friend of his.

Speaking in court, Evelyn Hutchins said of Mr Butcher: "One or other of us would go and see him every break we had. I had tried to pop in around March and had phoned."

Mr Sharp added: "I'm still shocked today and I can understand why his family are upset about it. But, at the end of the day, there's a reason why he's given it to me. They know it, but I don't" the Telegraph reports.

Ronald Butcher died in 2013 and his body lay undiscovered in his home for approximately two months before he was found.

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