5 Key Lessons for Will drafting and Family Law – Re Singh Case
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A recent case in the UK courts has sparked a discussion on inheritance and family law.
In the case of Re Singh (Deceased), a widow was left with nothing under the will of her husband, despite being married for 66 years (!). The estate was worth £1.9m and was bequeathed to their two sons. However, in an uncontested claim, the judge awarded the wife 50% of the net value of the estate.
Points to note:
- Spouses, even if excluded from a will, can still claim a share of an estate, if reasonable provision has not been made for them.
- Failing to have a clear and comprehensive estate planning in place, can result in costly legal battles, when family members are excluded from the will.
- Evidence of a spouse’s contribution to the marriage and family business can be taken into account in inheritance disputes.
- The ruling could serve as a warning to those who try to cut family members out of their wills, particularly when they have contributed to the family’s wealth and assets.
- The ruling reinforces the principle of fairness in inheritance law.