Widow, and sole beneficiary of Will, brings financial claim against husband’s estate


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A widow, who was named as the sole beneficiary of her husband’s Will, has brought a financial claim against his estate for assets he had given away before his death.

Ruanne Dellal’s husband was a property developer. She was virtually the sole beneficiary under his Will and has inherited £15m. However, she believes he had set up secret trusts and had made substantial lifetime gifts to his children. The Sunday Times 2012 Rich List estimated his wealth at £445m. She has issued proceedings to undo gifts he made to his family in the six years before he died.

The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 entitles certain individuals to bring claims for financial provision against an estate. They can claim against assets owned by the deceased when (s)he died as well as joint assets and assets given away in the six years before they died.

Nick Palmer is a lawyer at Barker Gotelee, Solicitors in Ipswich.

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