After a 66 year marriage, a woman whose husband’s will left everything to their two sons (to “prioritise the male line”) and leaving no provision for her or their four daughters, has been awarded a 50% share of his almost £2m estate by the High Court.
It was clear that “reasonable provision” had not been made for Kaur, whose income consisted of state benefits of about £12,000. Kaur had been equally as involved in the family clothing business.
Kaur made a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and was awarded 50%, with the Judge considering the “divorce cross check” (i.e. that a surviving spouse should not usually be worse off as a widow than a divorcee).
This seems to me to be a good example of a fair result, making it plain that you cannot simply cut spouses/dependants from your will. Albeit in a huge number of cases, claimants simply do not have the funds to pursue these cases to Trial. I am curious as to whether the Will preparer gave the deceased advice on the likelihood of a claim from his spouse. Careful thought & advice should always be given to clients by will writers as to potential claims, and how to avoid them, as inheritance disputes such as these can cost hundreds of thousands.
Widow wins half of £1m estate despite being cut out of will
A widow has won half of her late husbands £1 million estate despite his will entirely excluding her and their four daughters. Harbans Kaur, the widow, married Karnail Singh in 1955. Singh wrote his will in 2005 before dying in 2021 following 66 years of marriage. In his will, he expressed his wishes to leave his estate 'solely down the male line to the two sons he had with Kaur.