Tory supporter cuts Labour-supporting family out of will

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Violet Baker died last April at the age of 85. She was the last of her siblings to pass away, her husband Raymond had died four years earlier, and she had no children. She had a large extended family who all supported Labour.

But instead of leaving them a penny, she left £769,000 to the Tories.

Donation

Baker, from Kilmorie Road, Acocks Green, Birmingham, had inherited most of her money from her husband after he died. She gave £2,000 to a neighbour who had helped care for her in her later years, and the rest to the Conservative party.

It was the biggest donation of this kind to any political party, and the Telegraph reported that it was one of the biggest donations the Conservative party had ever received.

Her relatives told the Daily Mail that they were shocked. One called her a 'wicked woman' and a 'battle axe'. They added that they didn't know if she had ever voted, but that she had known her family were Labour supporters, and had done this out of spite.

Making a point

It's impossible to know why she did it, but she wouldn't be the first person to make a point through their will.

Spite is a relatively common theme. We reported in November last year about the Australian woman who died at the age of 95 and left her entire £8.18 million estate to a neighbour who had been kind to her in her final years. The family launched a legal case, during which it emerged that she had frequently complained about her family and how they wanted her money. The judge eventually ruled that the will should stand.

In 2011 a woman in Hertfordshire finally won a share of her mother's £486,000 estate. Her mother had left everything to animal charities, explaining in a letter that she had disinherited her only daughter because she had run away from home at the age of 17 to live with her boyfriend. The court of appeal ruled that the move had been unreasonable and that the daughter was entitled to a share of the estate.

Unusual

Then there are those who want to make an altogether different sort of statement with their will.
Houdini was convinced he would come back from the afterlife - so set up an escape plan in his will. He gave his wife a secret message and said he would contact her from the afterlife using this code to prove that the contact was genuine. Sadly he never got in touch.

Robert Louis Stevenson, meanwhile, left his birthday to a friend, Annie Hide. Apparently she had often complained about being born on Christmas Day. He asked her to treat the 13 November with "moderation and humanity... the said birthday not being so young as it once was".

Henry Budd, a wealthy Victorian eccentric, meanwhile, left his £200,000 estate in trust to his two sons - on the condition that neither grow a moustache.

And Janis Joplin left $2,500 to pay for an all-night party for 200 people at her favourite pub in San Francisco, so her friends could see her off in style.