What happens if a former spouse dies shortly after a divorce settlement is finalised? That thorny issue arose in one case in which a fabulously wealthy heiress agreed to pay £17 million to her ex-husband three weeks before he took his own life.
Before their 20-year marriage, the couple had signed a pre-nuptial agreement to protect the wife’s fortune. She was worth about £440 million before tax whilst his assets came to about £2 million. Despite having three children together, they had kept their finances almost entirely separate throughout the marriage.
Following the breakdown of their relationship, a settlement was reached whereby the wife agreed to pay the husband £17.34 million in two equal tranches. The husband, who was distraught at the end of his marriage, took his own life 22 days later after the first tranche of £8.67 million had ...