Ex-Husband Can’t Have Slice of Deceased Mother-in-Law’s Estate

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In a case in which the bitter fall-out from divorce affected not only the ex-couple but their entire family, a disgruntled ex-husband has suffered defeat in a High Court bid for a share of his deceased former mother-in-law’s £250,000 estate.

The man had argued that, under the terms of his divorce, he was entitled to about £75,000 of his ex-mother-in-law’s money. That was on the basis that, when he divorced her daughter, the latter had agreed that he should have an equal share of any inheritance which she received from her mother which exceeded £100,000.

When the woman died, she left £100,000 to her daughter and most of the rest of her wealth to her grandchildren. On the face of it, the terms of the will had the effect of defeating any claim against the estate by the ex-husband. However, he pointed to anomalies in the document and argued that it had not been properly executed.

Following a preliminary hearing, a judge nevertheless ruled that the man, who was not a beneficiary under the will, had no ‘legal standing’ to mount an attack on its validity. On the available evidence, he in any event had ‘little chance’ of proving that it had not been executed in accordance with the law.