Traditional values came with a heavy price tag for 28 year old Caroline Barrett. The young Englishwoman saw her share of her grandmother's $345, 972 will go up in smoke due to her decision to 'live in sin' with her boyfriend.
Barrett, from Basingstoke, was taken to the High Court by her aunts and uncles, who claimed that her Irish Catholic grandmother strongly objected to her lifestyle, according to a report in the Telegraph.
Although named in Irish-born Bridget Gabrielle Murray's will which was drawn up some months before she died aged 87 in July 2010, Murray's sons David and John and daughter Catherine claimed it was a mistake and they took it to the High Court for a judge to rectify.
Judge Robert Miles heard that Murray, originally from Roscommon in Ireland, was a devout Catholic and he agreed she had not intended to leave money to the children of her youngest daughter. Murray was an active member of the Catholic Council until her death.
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David Murray, 61, from Orpington in Kent told the judge his mother would never have been happy with her granddaughter living with a man out of wedlock.
'If you talk about the Irish way of living, quite a lot of people are religious and people are struck out of wills all over because of religion,' he said. 'My mother was a very religious person. She was a member of the Catholic Council. She didn't believe in people living together before marriage.'
'People's beliefs are beliefs and you stick by them. You don't change tack overnight. My mother was a very strong character, and she discussed this with me on several occasions. We had a very close relationship.'
Judge Miles ruled Barrett out of the will. The estate will now be divided between Murray's three surviving children. It is understood that Mrs Barrett and her brother received a separate legacy.