The couple were both middle aged and had been married for two years. The husband was a successful businessman who owned three companies. When they married, they bought a house together which the husband funded. He also bought an apartment for them to use as a second home, and another apartment to rent out to his son from a previous relationship. The two apartments were in the husband’s name.

The wife then sold property she owned and paid her husband a substantial amount towards their marital home and their apartment.

The husband’s estate was worth just over £6m when he died. His will entitled his
wife to a monthly allowance of £378. She also had limited rights of occupation
to the marital home and apartment, and was left various other goods worth

The wife submitted that a more reasonable provision would be for her to receive £1m from the estate, made up of the marital home and apartment, and a lump sum.

The Court held that the will had not made adequate provision for the wife and that a transfer of £500,000 to her would be appropriate, given the short duration of the marriage and the fact that most of estate’s value was in the husband’s three companies.

The wife should therefore receive the marital home and the apartment, and a share in the rented apartment, subject to the son’s rights to live there and exercise an option to buy.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article, or any aspect of wills and probate.

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