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/ 16 Feb 2023

83-year-old widow wins High Court battle for half of her late husband’s estate

A widow 83, whose late husband wanted to leave everything to his male relatives, was successful in a High Court judgment receiving half of the Estate worth more than £1 million.

Private Client solicitor Rajinder Rai provides an overview of the case below including the importance of the ruling for people considering who to have as beneficiaries to their estate.

Facts of the case

  • The late husband made a Will in 2005 leaving his entire Estate to his two sons but nothing to his wife or his four daughters
  • These wishes were based on wanting to leave his Estate entirely “down the male blood line”
  • The Estate was worth more than £1 million
  • The wife’s income consisted of State benefits circa £12,000.00
  • The husband and wife had been married for 66 years
  • The Wife had played a full role during their marriage including working in the family run clothing business

The Judgment

In his Judgement, Justice Peel commented “It seems to me that this is the clearest possible case entitling me to conclude that reasonable provision has not been made for the Claimant. It is hard to see how any other conclusion can be reached. After a marriage of 66 years, to which she made a full and equal contribution, and during which all the assets accrued, she is left with next to nothing.” He went on to state that she should “… receive 50% of the net value of the Estate”.

Why is this decision important?

This decision was made on the grounds of fairness demonstrating that people cannot be removed from a Will, particularly where there is a spouse who has contributed for a substantial number of years, as was the case here.  It also shows that careful and due consideration should be given as to who one wishes to leave their Estate to.

How can our Wills & Probate solicitors help you?

The death of a loved one is an immensely distressing time for family and friends alike. This can be made worse by a dispute over their Will, lack of Will or how their assets are to be distributed. If you feel that you have not been reasonably provided for contact our team today to find out more. We have experience in dealing with all manner of disputes and always aim to achieve a settlement out of court so as to minimise the costs. Where this is not possible, we will guide you through the complicated litigation process from beginning to end.

If you are considering  making a Will and assigning Lasting Power of Attorney’s, our specialist  team can offer advice on the best way of giving effect to your wishes.



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