Will Dispute Puts Issue Of Dying Intestate In Spotlight

Partner And Children Seeking Share Of Estate From Woman’s Estranged Husband

13.12.2013

The estranged husband of a deceased woman has been given conditional permission to appeal a ruling which stated he must provide her former partner and young children with a share of her estate.

Navpreet Walia inherited £68,000 in cash following the death of wife Jocelyn, who passed away in March 2011 aged just 38 without making a will, despite the fact they separated several years earlier.

A ruling in Manchester High Court last year stated that her partner Felipe Lim and her children Emma, whose father is Mr Walia, and Philip were entitled to a share of the estate.

However, Mr Walia’s request for an appeal has been granted, with him arguing that the estate was insolvent and also claiming he burnt all of his estranged wife’s money while in a state of distress following her death.

The permission to appeal is on condition that he is able to sign an affidavit outlining how and when the money, the proceeds of Mrs Walia’s insurance policy, was torched.

Expert Opinion
This is a case which demonstrates the great difficulties which can be created when a person dies intestate, without making a will.

"We represent people affected by similar problems and, as a result, we have seen first-hand the great emotional strain that can be caused by costly and time-consuming legal battles over the estate of a loved one.

"This is why we always encourage people to not only ensure they prepare a will and keep it updated, but also keep their loved ones informed regarding their plans and how they would want an estate to be split upon their death.

"Taking such steps can make a huge difference and ensure that friends and family are under no allusions as to your wishes. It will also go a long way to preventing them from facing many difficult decisions and disputes in the future."
Paula Myers, Partner