Personal Solicitors Suffolk – Wife with life interest cannot bring late claim against husband’s estate

Lindsey Sharples Cropped

‘A widow in her ’80s has been refused permission to make an out of time claim on her late husband’s estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.  Clive Zola Berger left most of his estate in trust to provide a home and income for his wife, but she considers the trustees – her two stepsons – have disregarded his instructions to provide her with the ‘maximum’ income.

Mrs Berger currently lives in a £4.25 million, eight-bedroom Surrey mansion and pays domestic staff to tend to her 30-acre home.  She claims her net income of £72,000 per year was not enough to live on and argued that she needed £220,000 to maintain her luxurious lifestyle.

Judges at the Court of Appeal agreed Mrs Berger had an ‘arguable’ case that her late husband’s Will did not make ‘reasonable provision’ for her future income.  However, she had left it 6 years to make her claim, a claim which she should have made within 6 months of her husband’s death and therefore she was out of time.’

Lindsey Sharples is a solicitor specialising in Wills, trusts and tax at Barker Gotelee, Solicitors in Suffolk

Personal Solicitors Suffolk – click here for more information on our range of services