Widow Contests Will To Receive More Money As Husband Dies Before Divorce Proceedings

Husband Dying Costs Widow Her Share Of A £12 Million Estate

11.05.2016

Kate Rawlings, Press Officer | 0114 274 4238

Lawyers at national law firm Irwin Mitchell advise people to think twice before cutting a spouse out of a Will after a widow says she has been forced to bring proceedings against her children after she was left with less money than she would have had if her divorce proceedings had been finalised before her husband’s death.

Mari Vindis, widow of Nigel Vindis of Vindis Group car dealerships, is bringing a claim against her husband’s Estate as she says she would have been left with £6 million had her divorce proceedings gone through, rather than of the £36,000 left under his Will.

The couple had been separated for two years and filed divorce papers two months before Mr Vindis died in hospital in 2013, aged 58.

Mrs Vindis wants the High Court to make “reasonable provision” from her husband’s Estate, so that she can receive the half of his £12 million Estate that she would have received if the divorce had gone through earlier.

Mr Vindis’ Will left the majority of the Estate to the couple’s two children, Gabriella, 26, and Alexander, 28.

Although the couple’s children are said to be supportive, her daughter has said it would “drive a coach and horses” through her father’s wishes that his Estate go to her and her brother, if her mother’s claim was to be successful.

The Will stated she was to have assets worth £1 million, but included half shares she already had in three family properties. The case has been adjourned.

Gavin Faber, Will and Trust dispute expert at Irwin Mitchell, said:

Expert Opinion
“We see many cases like this where Wills are contested by family members. What may have been a tight family unit beforehand can become divided, sometimes irreparably, as a result of the dispute. In trying to cut a spouse out of a Will, or leaving them little, may leave them with little alternative but to bring a claim against other family members.

“Contesting a Will is not only emotionally draining with the risks of family tension, but it is also a costly and very time consuming process. I would advise that anyone considering omitting a spouse, or close family member from their Will, should consider whether that could ultimately lead to a dispute and court proceedings.”
Gavin Faber, Partner

  

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