Widow makes a successful claim against her late husband’s will.
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Mr B died unexpectedly of a heart attack. At the time of his death he was married to Mrs B. The couple had three children together.
Mr B made a number of bequests his will to members of his extended family. However, while he and his family had been reasonably wealthy when the will was made, their financial position had deteriorated over time and by the time he passed away the estate could no longer afford those bequests.
Mr B was, to all outward appearances, a successful and thriving businessman. The family had a high standard of living and the children were afforded private education. However, at the time of his death the reality was somewhat different and the estate available for distribution was much reduced.
Mrs B and the children wished to dispute the will and consulted us about doing so. We agreed to take on the case on a no win, no fee basis.
Negotiations were not successful so we therefore issued court proceedings against the estate for reasonable financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
The claim was eventually settled out of court and the entire estate, except for a reduced legacy of £10,000 to one of Mr B’s brothers (who was also in financial need), was paid to Mrs B and the children.
This is not an uncommon example of the problems that can arise when a person fails to update their will to take account of changes in their personal and financial circumstance.
While Mr B was financially able to provide for his extended family when preparing his will, he failed to realise the implication of not updating it when his financial position declined over the following years.