Life interest CAN be reasonable financial provision in 1975 Act claims

Ramus v Holt makes for very interesting reading, the article below is a great summary. Husband and Wife, both wealthy. Rather staggeringly, Mrs Ramus, with some £1.6m in assets and a pension income, claims that the income from the life interest would be insufficient to meet her needs.

The Court found that even upon a notional divorce check, she would not have received more than her existing assets of £1.6m. It was thought that the real rationale behind the claim was the personality clash with the Trustees, and a lack of confidence that they would administer the trust in her interests. There is no jurisdiction for removal of trustees under the Act, therefore the claim was dismissed.

One would envisage that this failed claim cost Mrs Ramus enormous sums of money. But – she has made her point to the trustees that she would not hesitate to litigate should they step out of line.

Life interest can be reasonable financial provision for a spouse, says court

A recent case has highlighted that, where a spouse is left a life interest in an estate, in certain circumstances it can be considered reasonable financial provision – this was held to be the case even where that life interest could be terminated by the trustees and the spouse’s relationship with the trustees was difficult. This example is notable to practitioners in the field given that often it is expected that a spouse would be entitled to outright provision rather than simply a life interest. It should be noted that that the circumstances of this case were material to the Court’s considerations and the surviving spouse’s own assets were highly relevant to the conclusion.