The late Ronnie Barker was one our best comedians but he and his family had to live with troubles created by their son Adam. In 2003, the police arrested Adam on suspicion of downloading indecent images of children from the internet. He subsequently jumped bail and has been a fugitive ever since.
Adam did not attend the funerals of his father or mother in fear of the police capturing him. It is clear they were a close family because before his disappearance, Adam wrote to his parents saying he loved them, he was sorry for the embarrassment he caused and that he was leaving.
Through their Wills, we learn that Ronnie and his wife Joy, owned most of their assets in joint names. Ronnie’s estate was valued at £300,000 and he left £91,000 to Adam, apparently, he has not claimed it. When Joy died earlier this year, her estate was valued at £6.5 million, which was divided equally between their three children. After inheritance tax, this amount to another £1.3 million left for Adam.
In the eyes of the law, there is no reason why Adam cannot claim his fortune, but he knows the police are watching the accounts. The executors have a duty to carry out the terms of the Will, but there are obvious ethical issues to consider and it is not clear how far they will go to fulfil their duty.
Adam must have given Ronnie and Joy a huge dilemma to sort out. They must have loved him the same as they loved their other two children. However, they have left a problems for the family to sort out.
Please leave a comment to say what you would have done in your Will in the same circumstances.