None of the bequeathed amount has been handed over to the organisation
A charity has gone to court to claim its share of a will after a man refused to hand over a share of his inheritance.
Engineering boss Stuart Brock left 70% of his wealth to his foster son Albi Mera which consisted of a £1 million home in Brixton and two other London flats worth £500,000.
However he also left 30% of his will to global NGO WaterAid of which Brock was a long time supporter.
Mera has been living at the £1 million home in Sidney Road, Brixton, since the death of his foster dad five years ago in 2018 – but he could now be kicked out, and the house sold, after being sued by the charity for not paying it the bequeathed inheritance, a court heard.
A judge has now made an order, removing him as executor and personal representative, directing that the house and another property be transferred out of his ownership, and handing him a £52,000 court bill.
Judge McQuail told him: “I appreciate this is tough for you Mr Mera, but that’s what happens in litigation if you don’t win.”
One of the three family properties was sold in 2021 and the £80,000 proceeds are being held by solicitors.
A barrister representing WaterAid said: “Mr Mera has clearly preferred his interests to those of WaterAid and breached his duty to distribute the estate in accordance with the will,” adding: “All that is left is £80,026.52...even that has not been paid to WaterAid.”
He added: “He is in arrears on the mortgage payments on Sidney Road and there is also the equitable charge on the property,” she said, asking for Mr Mera to be removed as executor and personal representative of the estate.
Judge McQuail said: “The defendant is in possession of two properties and the defendant has not made any distribution to the claimant. The claimant is awaiting its proper share.
“The Sidney Road property seems to have been sold by the defendant to himself in breach of his duties and the sale price would appear to be nothing like the value.
“In effect, the defendant has overpaid himself. He says he has always intended to pay WaterAid and has put a property on the market, but he has not put in evidence to that effect.
“The main concern of this court is what is in the best interest of the beneficiaries.”
Mera said: “All these costs and everything else is going to be too much for me.
“My intention has always been to pay WaterAid, but I have had struggles in my personal life. I’ve lost my job, but WaterAid don’t mention any of this.
“I don’t want to be removed.”