A dispute over a £25million fortune has made its way to the High Court.
Laurel Roberts wasn’t left a penny following the death of her stepmother Pauline Milbour, who owned a hotel business in Central London and had amassed considerable wealth.
When Mrs Milbour died three years ago, the vast majority of her estate had passed to her natural daughter Luanne Fresco.
Ms Roberts had claimed she had been unfairly “cut out” and has mounted a challenge alongside her niece Francesca Milbour.
The pair claim that they should be entitled to £8million to make “reasonable” provision for their future.
Mrs Milbour, who owned the Columbia Hotel, overlooking Hyde Park, had been married to Ms Roberts’ father, Leonard, for more than 40 years.
When she passed away in 2014, she had left just £150,000 to her husband, with a Will written in the 1990s advising that the lion’s share of the estate should pass to Mrs Fresco and Laurence, the son she had with Mr Milbour who had died before both of his parents.
Ms Roberts’ legal team said that the hotel owner had always hated her step-daughter and never treated her as part of the family. Questions have also been raised about why such a “miserly” sum was left to Mrs Milbour’s husband, who had passed away around nine months after his wife.
Mrs Fresco has argued that her mother’s arrangements were fair.
Judge Monty, sitting in the High Court, has allowed the claim to proceed, with a date for a future hearing yet to be set.