Son loses battle to overturn his late father’s will

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A MILLIONAIRE farmer’s son who ‘worked day and night’ for more than 40 years on his father’s land – only to find he had been disinherited in his dad’s will – has failed in a legal battle for his share of the estate.

Alan Shirt, aged 64, claims he was ‘promised’ the £1.2 million family home, Syda Farm at Holymoorside, near Chesterfield.

He says in 1986 his late father Stanley Shirt told him: “The farm is yours if you want to work for it.”

Relying on his father’s word, he claims he committed his entire working life to keeping the farm going, without receiving proper wages, in the expectation of getting his reward at the end of his father’s life.

But the dad turned his back on his son, cutting him out of his will, after the pair fell out in 2006 over Alan’s dislike of his stepmother Virginia.

When Mr Shirt senior died in August last year, aged 84, he split his worldly goods, including the farm, between his daughter Lynda Mayhall, 67, and two younger sons Geoff, 59, and 46-year-old Jonathan.

London’s Appeal Court heard that was despite the trio having chosen to ‘make their own way in life’, rather than regularly work the land with their father, like Alan.

In a tense hearing, presided over by the country’s top civil judge the Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger, Alan made a claim for the farm saying he was entitled to it both legally and morally.

His barrister said there had been an unwritten contract between the pair.

The Appeal Court turned his application down.