Justice Roxane George on December 16, ruled that the last Will and Testament of Yusuf Mongroo, the owner of the Horseshoe Racing Service at the time of his death on August 15, 2010, was valid.
She ruled that a copy be admitted to probate.
The validity of the Will had been contested by Sherene Mongroo, a daughter of Yusuf Mongroo, who lives in New York and two other children of Mongroo, Zenobia Rosenberg and Dexter Lathuillerie, who reside in Trinidad and the United States respectively.
The defendants, Sasedai Persaud and Indranie Mulchand, were the beneficiaries named under the Will by Yusuf Mongroo. Sasedai Persaud was an employee of Horseshoe Racing Service, and Indranie Mulchand was his reputed wife.
The latter’s status as the reputed wife of Mongroo, which was denied by Sherene Mongroo, claiming that she was employed as a domestic by Mongroo, was supported in evidence by former Chief of Staff of the GDF, Norman McLean, who had known Mongroo for over thirty years. He said that Mongroo never told him that he had children.
The main contentions by Sherene Mongroo and her witnesses were that the signature on the Will was not that of Mongroo and that due to illness just prior to the making of the Will, he lacked the mental capacity to understand what he was doing.
The Judge rejected the evidence of the Trinidad handwriting expert, Glenn Parmassar, that the signature on the Will was not that of Yusuf Mongroo and accepted the evidence of Troy Whittaker, of the Guyana Police Force, that the signatures on the Will and other documents were that of Yusuf Mongroo. The evidence included detailed analysis of the handwriting of Mongroo.
Justice George accepted the evidence of Dr. Rohan Jabour, one of the witnesses to the Will, that Mongroo understood the contents of the Will. He had seen Yusuf Mongroo as a patient, and while he was not his attending physician while he was hospitalised at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, had visited him every day.
Just before he witnessed the Will he read it out to Mongroo and asked him in detail if the contents of the Will were in accordance with his wishes because he, Dr. Jabour, did not know the beneficiaries.
He had also known Mongroo for over thirty years and Mongroo never told him that he had children.
Vidyanand Persaud, Attorney at Law, who prepared the Will only days before they were signed, said in evidence that Mongroo was perfectly lucid on the two occasions that he saw and spoke to him in the hospital.
Sasedai Persaud was represented by Hari Ramkarran S.C. and Edward Luckhoo S.C. Indranie Mulchand was represented by Chandrapatesh Satram. Sherene Mongroo was represented by Khemraj Ramjattan. The other plaintiffs, Zenobia Rosenberg and Dexter Lathuillerie, were represented by Nigel Hughes.