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Schramsberg will contested

The will of Schramsberg founder Jamie Davies is being contested by her son John Davies, who was disinherited last year.

John Winsell Davies, one of three sons to survive Jamie Davies, who died in February, has announced his intention to contest his family’s trust agreement, which leaves no share of the winery and family fortune to him.

According to John, who currently lives in Moscow, Jamie Davies amended her revocable trust in April 2007 to explicitly write him out of any inheritance.

He says the amended trust provided $20,000 to his daughter Cody L Roe.

John Davies alleges that his mother, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease in her later years, was mentally incompetent at the time the trust was amended.

He also alleges that his brother Hugh Davies, the current president and CEO of Schramsberg, exercised improper influence over his mother’s amendment of the trust.

His father Jack Davies’ wishes ‘have been perverted in a complex web of multiple trust manipulations’ in a ‘conspiring and underhanded manner,’ he said.

‘Somebody else was holding that faint and trembling pen when that will was inked. We will continue to honour my father’s wishes and work within the court system for justice,’ Davies said.

Davies’ lawyer Herman Franck says that John Davies also intends to file suit against his brother Hugh.

‘The fact is that there was an April 2007 amended trust that has been concealed from us until after [Jamie Davies’] death. We plan to file a separate lawsuit against Hugh Davies for his involvement in convincing his mother to treat the John Davies family in this manner,’ says Franck.

Hugh Davies’ lawyer, Paul Carey of Napa law firm Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty said, ‘John Davies’ claims are baseless and false. This is a matter that should be resolved within the family and the judicial system, not the media.’

The third Davies son, Bill is also a vintner and partner in the Source-Napa brand.

Written by Tim Teichgraeber in San Francisco

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