Cohabitant is successful in contesting a Discretionary Trust
The Deceased died leaving his entire estate to a discretionary trust, the beneficiaries of which included his brother and sister, three nieces, his ex-wife and her adopted son and our client, who had been his partner for around 10 years.
The Deceased also left a letter of wishes expressing his desire that £100,000 be provided to each of his siblings; that the mortgage on the property owned by his ex-wife be paid off together with a cash sum of £20,000, and £100,000 be provided to our client.
Our client felt that the Will failed to make adequate provision for her. Not only had they been living together for 10 years but the Deceased had also proposed to her. Our client was provided with various bank cards for her use and the Deceased purchased a flat which was intended to be their long-term home. Although our client’s parents contributed €52,000 towards the purchase price, the property was placed in the Deceased’s sole name.
The couple continued to reside together until his death, separated only as a result of his work commitments or the occasional separate holiday. Their lifestyle was luxurious and the Deceased had informed our client that he was a wealthy man. They would eat in restaurants three or four times a week, with various trips, excursions and holidays. The Deceased reassured our client that she would be well provided for, for the rest of her life. He funded her continuing education including a PhD in fine wines. The intention was that they would open a wine import company together.
The Deceased also purchased two flats in Turkey, one as a holiday home and the other as a rental property.
After the Deceased was involved in a serious car accident he purchased a ring and again made clear his intention to marry our client. However he died before the marriage could take place.
While the Deceased’s did include our client in his Will, it was only as a beneficiary of a Discretionary Trust. The problem with Discretionary Trusts is that they are … discretionary. Money is only paid to the beneficiaries at the trustees’ discretion, so there is no automatic entitlement. This was not acceptable to our client as it failed to provide her with the guarantee of financial provision that she needed and deserved.
Our client therefore consulted us about contesting the Discretionary Trust and we agreed to take on her case, working on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Our challenge to the Discretionary Trust was successful and our client received an appropriate level of financial provision from the estate after an out of court settlement was reached at mediation.
If you are looking for solicitors who are experienced in contesting a Discretionary Trust then contact our helpline for a free case assessment and details of No Win, No Fee funding. Call 0333 888 0404 or email us at [email protected].