Battle over estate of pop star Prince because he hadn’t made a will

June 24, 2016By BPS Family LawWills and Probate

The family of the pop star Prince fear there could be a costly dispute over his multi-million pound fortune because he died without having made a will.

Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, has asked a court in the United States to appoint a special administrator to manage his estate because he left no will or instructions as to who should inherit his wealth.

Legal proceedings will now be necessary to decide how his estate should be divided between his relatives. It’s feared this could prove both costly and stressful for the family members involved.

Unfortunately, many people fail to make a will and so without realising it, create unnecessary problems for their families. For example, if you die intestate – without having made a will – the taxman may take a share of your estate.

Some may also go to an estranged husband or wife.

The Law Society recently conducted a survey revealing that 73% of people aged 16 to 54 haven’t written a will. The figure is 64% for people aged over 55.

More than 20% of people said they didn’t make a will because they assumed that their estate would automatically go to their cohabiting partner or their family. This is not necessarily the case. If you die without having made a will, your estate is divided in a way laid down by law.

This means your money could go to your estranged spouse or distant family members you may not even like. Some may go to the government in tax. Unlike spouses, cohabiting partners have no automatic right to inherit your estate. They can be left in a very vulnerable position.

A Law Society spokesman said the figures are extremely concerning: “Thousands of people die every year without making a will or without a properly drafted will.

“Dying intestate not only means your final wishes will probably go unheeded, but the financial and emotional mess is left for your loved ones to sort out. This need not be your final legacy.

“Making a will is usually a very simple process but we urge people to use a qualified, insured solicitor because he or she will be able to spot the nuances that could lead to trouble later on if not properly addressed.”

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of wills and probate.

Please contact us if you would like more information

about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of wills and probate.

Homemaker wife awarded shares worth £69m in divorce settlement

June 24, 2016By BPS Family LawDivorce Settlements

A woman who devoted her life to her family while her husband concentrated on developing his business has been awarded £69m in a divorce settlement.

The case involved a couple who began living together in 2002. They married in 2004 and the wife became a homemaker and a full-time mother to their two children.

At the time they met, the husband was the chief executive of an online fashion retailer and owned company shares worth £1.2m. The wife had no significant wealth.

The husband continued to develop his company, which began to grow. He eventually sold some of his shares for £73m, which he and the wife invested in property and other assets while using some for the family to enjoy a higher standard of living.

In 2013, the husband and wife separated. Their combined assets totalled £219.5m, of which £140.8m represented the value of the husband’s remaining shares. He considered that the shares should be left out of settlement calculations because they were a non-matrimonial asset as he had owned them long before he met his wife.

The wife argued that the current value of the husband’s shares was a result of growth made possible by him being free to develop the company while she was the homemaker. They should therefore be shared as a matrimonial asset.

The court found in her favour. It held that she had been an excellent homemaker and mother, and the parties had contributed equally to the welfare of the family.

In fairness to her, the husband’s shares could not be left out of account altogether. They had been part of the family economy.

The fair solution was to give half to the husband as personal, non-matrimonial property and treat the other half as matrimonial property to be evenly shared, thereby giving the wife a quarter of their value and an overall award of £69.5m.

Please contact us if you would like more information

about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of family law.

Divorce settlements can be heard again in court if your partner lied about their finances

June 24, 2016By BPS Family LawDivorce Settlements

Do you believe that your ex-husband or ex-wife did not disclose their true financial position during your divorce proceedings? Our outstanding legal team has a wealth of experience in this area of law.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court redefined the law where one party to a marriage or a civil partnership has failed to make full and frank disclosure of their assets following the judgements in the high profile cases of Gohil and Sharland.

Sally Harrison QC and Samantha Hillas from St John’s Buildings, both of whom have regularly formed part of our strong legal team at BPS Law for a number of years, successfully represented Varsha Gohil in her appeal to the Supreme Court, highlighting their strength as advocates in divorce proceedings.

If you believe that you are in similar situation and your ex-spouse is living a lifestyle which is not representative of his or her disclosed income either to you or to the Court at the time of your separation then we have a formidable legal team who will assist you.

The Judgement both in this case and the case of Mrs Sharland strengthens the Court’s ability to enforce the duty of spouses to be fully transparent about their assets, income, business interest and overall financial position at the time of separation.

The law extends not only to divorce proceedings but to spouses who are have entered into pre-nuptial agreements and separation agreements.

The need to tell your spouse your precise financially position has never been greater. The ability to re-open a settlement if one person has failed to do so has been highlighted extensively by these recent judgements.

Also, there is no time limit. So no matter how long ago you were divorced if you feel that your spouse failed to tell you everything at that time then we can advise you as to your rights and the options available to you.

For free initial advice

contact our matrimonial team without delay on 0161 834 2623