The text message that prevented a family from inheriting £3 million

The High Court has ruled that a text message from an individual outlining his wishes for his £3m fortune just hours before his death is legitimate.

It’s an unusual case, because as we’ve previously written many times, legal documents like wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney must be written while the individual is of sound mind. We hear from many people who are worried that their older relatives are being exploited in older age as well as those who have been disinherited. Troubles can worsen where there is a large amount of money involved - so this latest story reported in The Times recently appears to contain a cocktail of things commonly faced by families - just with a slightly different-than-expected outcome.

The story concerns a man Al-Hasib Mian Muhammad Abdullah al-Mahmood.

Mahmood has lived in the UK since the 1970s. He did marry, but his wife died in 2020 and they never had any children.

In 2015 he drew up a will leaving his assets, worth about £3 million, to his late wife’s brother and his daughters who lived in America. However, since his wife’s death, Mahmood became detached from these relatives,; they barely spoke and he frequently complained that they never made any effort to stay in contact or visit him.

Mahmood had another relative, Masuda Rahman, who did visit often and became like a son to Mahmood. When his wife died, Mahmood even referred to Rahman as a son during her funeral and invited Rahman to his house to go through paperwork, listing all assets and giving details about how to access everything in the event of his own death.

Crucially, Mahmood began the stages of re-writing his will in October 2022, but it was never signed before he died.

However, a text message was about to change everything.

Mahmood had texted the new will writer a very clear instruction, that Rahman was to inherit everything; that he was revoking his previous will and that was his final word. He then sent a similar text message to a family member, saying that he felt Rahman was his son and would therefore be the owner of all his assets, and that was his final word. He then died shortly after aged 82.

The original beneficiaries of the will contradicted these wishes, as well as the validity of the text messages.

However, the judge dismissed these concerns - and found that the texts were genuine.

Judge Paul Matthews said: “Mahmood’s intention was to make a new will in favour of the claimant [Rahman] whereby he would inherit all the testator’s UK-situated property.”

It was clear what the intentions were and that these wishes just could not be finalised in time before Mahmood’s death.

If you have faced a similar situation, Downs Solicitors might be able to help. Contact us for more information.



Mehboob Dharamsi

Mehboob Dharamsi


Tel: +44 (0) 1932 588579

Office: Cobham Office

Email: [email protected]