Posted on 17.5.16 by Danielle Clements
A widow has taken her dispute to the High Court as she battles overturn her dead husband’s Will. Mr and Mrs Vindis were in the midst of going through divorce proceedings when the husband died before the dissolution could be finalised, meaning that his £12 million estate was shared out in accordance to his Will. Mr Vindis made a Will which would make the couple’s two children the main beneficiaries of his estate, leaving Mrs Vindis with just £36,000 alongside her half share in a number of properties.
The couple had been together for nearly 40 years before they separated in 2011, two years before the death. It’s said that the couple lived a lavish lifestyle, owning multiple homes and a number of valuable cars and this is the lifestyle that Mrs Vindis was used to. The widow, 59, says that she would have been given half of the fortune if the divorce had been finalised and wants the Will to be overturned to fund her ‘reasonable needs’.
The Multiple Bickering Parties
Mrs Vindis isn’t the only party who has had their say over how the vast estate should be distributed. The couple’s two older children, who are 26 and 28, have said they support their mother but have made it clear that their dad wanted the two children to inherit the “lion’s share” of the estate.
Also trying to stake a claim on the estate are Mr Vindis’ two sisters. They say that they were excluded from the car dealership family business that enabled Mr Vindis to accumulate his fortune. The business was founded by their father and the two sisters claim that they were promised an equal share but have not received this.
Mr Vindis’ two children have retorted, saying that if their mother gets an increased share and so do their aunties, their inheritance will dwindle away which will ultimately ‘undermine’ their father’s wishes and desire to provide for their maintenance and financial security.
All in all, the three parties have a dispute battle on their hands to ensure they get what they think they are entitled to. The High Court listened to the case for two days, but it will return to court at a later date when more evidence has been gathered.
A Will accompanied by a letter of intentions makes Mr Vindis’ wishes crystal clear, but it’s a question of whether it is fair. The reports say Mrs Vindis earns £11,000 a year which isn’t enough to fund her reasonable needs according to her barrister. The fact that the couple were going through a divorce and that Mrs Vindis was set to inherit around half of the estate just before his death may work in her favour to get a larger share of the estate.
If Mr Vindis had not made any Will at all then his estate would have been shared out under the rules of intestacy, which sees the surviving partner get an absolute interest in half of the estate with the other half divided equally between the surviving children. He went out of his way to plan for the future of his family in a way that he wanted, but it is now up to the Judge to decide whether his children keep the larger share of the inheritance.
Dispute Resolution Experts at Gorvins
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