The Kings Court Trust Blog

Keeping you up-to-date with Wills, probate and estate administration industry news

Cinderella-Like Figure Has £120k Inheritance Stolen from Half-Sisters

Posted by Kings Court Trust | Jun 4, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Everybody loves a Disney classic, so we couldn't resist sharing this modern day take on Cinderalla and her wicked sisters.  Recent media coverage highlighted how Sasha Cochrane was left without access to her father's £121,000 inheritance after her older half-sisters kept the money for themselves.

Miss Cochrane's father died when she was 19 after falling from scaffolding on a building site. He left behind five daughters and an estate of £121,000, but didn’t document his wishes in a Will.  The two eldest sisters from Mr Cochrane’s previous marriage initially supported Miss Cochrane and her younger two sisters, but they then took control of the money and kept it all for themselves in a twist that split the family.

When Mr Cochrane died in June 2011 each of his daughters were written to by insurers claiming they were entitled to £24,000 each.  Them, in February 2012, the youngest three daughters were informed that their elder sisters – who were named administrators of the policy – had been paid the full amount already, without informing them.

Commenting on their betrayal, Miss Cochrane said: "They were in their thirties while my little sisters and I were just teenagers.  My dad named all five of us on the policy, trusting the money would be divided five ways."

It later transpired that when asked for the money, the two older sisters told Miss Cochrane that they could not provide them with their share of the money as it had already been spent on various expenses, including funeral costs and solicitors’ fees. Miss Cochrane and her sisters were offered £10,000 each – an amount significantly less than their initial promised share.

What do you make of this case? It is reported that Miss Cochrane is planning to take her elder sisters to court – what do you think the outcome will be? Does she have a legitimate case?

Topics: IHT, Industry News, Inheritance Tax, Trustees, Trusts