A polo-playing university student has lost a £600,000 court fight with her aunt over her mother’s will. 

Anabel Mattingley (21 years old) claimed that Kim, her mother, had given her property in Kent to her aunt, Maidstone to guard it against a claim from her ex-husband.

But Durham undergraduate Ms Mattingley said her mother, a former JP Morgan banker, had made a dying wish for a share of the £600,000 property to be passed back to her.

Ms. Mattingley said that her mother set up a secret trust and asked her aunt Karen Bugeja to look after her in her absence.

She claimed her share of the property, worth around £150,000, would be used as a downpayment on a house and to buy a horse.

A judge from London’s High Court rejected Ms Mattingley’s claim, saying that the request was vague.

A court heard also that Ms. Mattingley’s mother stated in her will that she had ‘no legal claims’ to the property.

She has received the rest of the estate, which includes assets in Spain and Switzerland, from her mother.

Anabel Mattingley (pictured), 21, claimed her mother Kim had signed over her property near Maidstone, Kent, to her aunt to protect it from a claim by her ex-husband

Anabel Mattingley (pictured 21,) claimed that her mother Kim had given her property in Kent near Maidstone to her aunt for protection from her ex-husband.

Ms Mattingley told a court that her mother had set up a 'secret trust' by asking her aunt, Karen Bugeja (pictured), to 'look after her' following her death

Ms. Mattingley revealed to the court her mother set up a secret trust (pictured) by asking Karen Bugeja (pictured) to look after her in her final days.

Durham undergraduate Ms Mattingley said her mother, a former JP Morgan banker, had made a dying wish for a share of the £600,000 property (pictured) to be passed back to her

Durham undergraduate Ms Mattingley said her mother, a former JP Morgan banker, had made a dying wish for a share of the £600,000 property (pictured) to be passed back to her

The court heard how ex-banker Kim Mattingley had left her £600,000 house in Kings Hill, near Maidstone, to her sister Karen in her will.

Kim was a Kent-based alternative therapist who died after developing skin cancer. It later spread to her other organs.

Anabel is a Durham University student of anthropology, French and linguistics.

She argued with her lawyers that her ex banker had not left the inheritance to her directly because she was afraid her husband would claim it.

She instead left the property to her sister and set up a secret trust verbally to ensure that Karen was aware of Anabel’s ownership.

However, Anabel’s aunt challenged the claim, insisting that she didn’t promise to her niece any of the property. 

Joan White paid the mortgage and moved in to Kim’s home.

Kim retained the property, but she transferred a 25 year lease to her mother.

Her sister also received a 29 percent share to show her mother’s generosity.

Anabel requested that Kim’s aunt give her 26.63 percent of the property after her death.

Karen claimed she had broken a promise to her sister, by holding on to the property Kim left her in her will.

A judge at London's High Court (pictured: The Royal Courts of Justice) has now thrown out Ms Mattingley's claim saying the request was 'vague'

London’s High Court Judge (pictured by The Royal Courts of Justice), dismissed the claim of Ms Mattingley, claiming that her request was vague.

Anabel, who was in the witness box with the judge, stated that her mother expected her sister care for her child after her death. She even considered making Anabel her legal guardian.

Nicholas Jackson spoke for Anabel to Karen in the witness box. You trusted your sister to do right.

Karen said that she was fighting to renounce the title claim and wanted to preserve Kim’s mother Joan. Joan still lives in the home.

She stated, “In the will she had left me the house,”

It was my mother’s house, which I and my sister considered to be the same. Anabel told me that it was her home.

“I fight this because my sister wouldn’t have said to me that legally I had to give Anabel part of a home my mother owns.

Judge Davis-White backed Karen in her judgment. He stated: “The essence of Anabel’s evidence was that her mom told her she would get “a portion” of the English property, and that Karen would look after her.” 

“Her mother trusted Karen with this. Kim wanted to assure her 16-year old daughter, Anabel, that her aunt Karen would take care of her financially after she died.

“The only thing that could be said about Karen when she was present was that Karen would take care of Anabel in the broadest terms.

“I believe that Kim would wish, at the most, and without any obligation to Karen or extracting any promises from her, that Karen would gift Kim some property. 

“The promise of vagueness is an indication that there was no obligation”

Kim had expressed her wish vaguely, which was fatal for Kim’s assertion that a secret trust had already been created.

Anabel, a Durham University graduate in French and anthropology (pictured), claims that Karen promised Kim a legal-binding quarter of the home’s worth to her after she died.

Kim stated that Anabel had no legal right to Kim’s beneficial interest, or any portion thereof in the property.

I am not also satisfied that Karen has made any promises, either expressly or implicitly, to ensure that the property and its proceeds would be handled in such a way as to grant Anabel any interest after the death of Mrs White.

“It follows, that the claim must not be pursued,” the judge stated, awarding victory to Anabel and declaring Anabel the loser in the battle.

He also said Karen told him that after her mum is moved out and she has paid her expenses, Karen would think about passing some of that value onto Anabel. But this would be an option on Karen’s part rather than Anabel. 

If the costs question isn’t resolved, it will be addressed at another hearing.