Widow whose husband of 66 years left her nothing in will wins fight for share of €1.3m estate
Karnail Singh left everything to his two sons – and nothing to widow Harbans Kaur, or his four daughters, a judge was told
An 83-year-old widow whose husband of 66 years left her out of his will has won a High Court fight for a share of an estate worth more than £1 million.
Karnail Singh left everything to his two sons – and nothing to widow Harbans Kaur, or his four daughters, a judge was told.
Mr Justice Peel heard that Mr Singh, who died in 2021, “wished to leave his estate solely down the male line”.
He heard that Mrs Kaur estimated the estate to be worth £1.9 million, gross, but one of her sons put the value at £1.2 million.
The judge, who heard that the family had run a clothing business, has ruled that Mrs Kaur should get 50% of the net value of the estate.
He said it was clear that “reasonable provision” had not been made for Mrs Kaur, whose income consisted of state benefits of around £12,000.
Mr Justice Peel has outlined detail of his decision in a written ruling after considering evidence at a recent hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.
“The claimant and the deceased married in 1955, so that by the time of his death they had been married for about 66 years,” said the judge in his ruling.
“They had seven children, of whom one sadly is deceased.”
He said evidence showed that Mrs Kaur had played a “full role” in the marriage and worked in the family clothing business.
“By (a) will, dated 25 June 2005, the estate was left in equal shares to two of the children… the sons of the claimant and the deceased,” said the judge.
“The reason why the will was crafted in these terms, excluding the claimant and the other four siblings, was because the deceased wished to leave his estate solely down the male line.”
He added: “It seems to me that this is the clearest possible case entitling me to conclude that reasonable provision has not been made for the claimant. It is hard to see how any other conclusion can be reached. After a marriage of 66 years, to which she made a full and equal contribution, and during which all the assets accrued, she is left with next to nothing.”
He said she should “receive 50% of the net value of the estate”.
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