A SON looking to have his mother’s wills reinstated following a "bitter" family feud has been given permission to appeal.

John Clitheroe, from Clacton, has now been granted permission to have his case heard by a High Court judge.

He is looking to appeal the first instance decision that overturned his mother Jean Clitheroe’s two wills.

Jean, from Clacton, died in 2017, aged 76, leaving most of her £325,000 estate to him.

Her daughter Susan Bond, from St Osyth, was cut out of both and challenged the wills, leading to what Deputy Master Linwood described as a “bitter family dispute”.

The court heard Jean gave detailed reasons for excluding Susan, including handwritten instructions stating her daughter was “a shopaholic and would just fritter it away”.

Susan argued the allegations were untrue and that her mother had a complex grief reaction to her beloved eldest daughter Debra’s death.

Earlier this year, the judge found that while John hadn’t interfered in Susan and Jean’s relationship, there was evidence showing Jean suffered from an “affective grief disorder” and that Susan had no noteworthy shopping habits.

The 2010 and 2013 wills were both struck out and Jean was ruled to have died intestate, meaning she died without making a valid will and her estate must be split equally.

John has now instructed law firm Irwin Mitchell, which said the High Court appeal is a significant step towards overturning 150-year-old law and securing justice for John.

Nicola Bushby, a will, trust and estate disputes partner at Irwin Mitchell, said: “We’re very pleased that the High Court will hear John’s appeal."

As we’ve said before, this is a matter of someone having the freedom to leave their assets to whoever they wish.

“A family dispute is rarely clear cut, and this is no different.

"John looked after his mother for many years, the expert witnesses disagreed on the mental capacity issues and Mrs Clitheroe went to great lengths to make sure her wills were valid, yet they were both overturned.

"The decision clearly deserves a second opinion.

"“This is also a significant step in changing the law around mental capacity issues in will disputes.

"At the moment, capacity is measured on case law from 1870. The Mental Capacity Act has been around for 13 years now, and yet this area of the law lags behind.

“The initial judgment has been of great distress to John, who found it very concerning his mother’s wishes were not upheld.

"Nobody wants to be in court at a stressful and upsetting time, but John firmly believes his mother’s legacy should be respected.”