Farmer inherits £2.3million estate
A FARMER who toiled a piece of farmland 25 years has won a two year battle to inherit the estate. David Thorner has inherited Steart Farm off Wedmore Road in Cheddar after his second cousin Peter said he would leave it to him.
A FARMER who toiled a piece of farmland 25 years has won a two year battle to inherit the estate.
David Thorner has inherited Steart Farm off Wedmore Road in Cheddar after his second cousin Peter said he would leave it to him.
The £2.3million farm was verbally promised to the 57-year-old by Peter before he died in November 2005, aged 75, but his last will and testament in 1997 made no mention of the farm being left to him.
Mr Thorner's brother, Paul, aged 54, said: "Peter made it clear in his own way that David would get the farm.
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"David worked on the 400-acre farm for years and towards the end of Peter's life he was not only a farm hand but a carer as well and gave his relative emotional support.
"He gave commitment to him and I know this is what Peter would have wanted.
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"David never received a wage from Peter but he was always there for him."
Mr Thorner will now manage the sheep and cattle farm in Cheddar but will still living in his house in Wookey near Wells.
The decision over the inheritance of the farm was finally made on Friday in a court case in Bristol. The judge said that evidence from key witnesses who had heard conversations between the two relatives confirmed that the farm was intended for Mr Thorner, and not as the 1997 will said, to Peter's three sisters.
But Peter's sisters did not lose out as they inherited £1.1million pounds from their brother's estate.
Paul added: "Peter always said the farm would go to David but for reasons unbeknown to us the changes were never made and no-one ever found a will more recent than 1997.
"David is thrilled this issue is finally resolved and he is just looking forward to managing the farm."
Mr Thorner will also receive £23,000 to go towards the cost of managing the farm but will probably have to pay around £300,000 in inheritance tax.