Why leaving a ‘Dinky’ amount could lead to trouble

The recently reported High Court case of a husband who left his widow his collection of Dinky model cars and only a modest share of his £6million fortune highlights the vital importance for people who enter into second or third marriages or long term relationships of obtaining specialist professional advice about their wills.

Although we have the freedom to leave our assets as we choose in principle, in practice if we fail to make reasonable financial provision for spouses or partners trouble could well ensue after we have gone.

What constitutes reasonable financial provision is determind largely by the circumstances of the parties. In the case of the widow, Mrs Lilleyman, her personal income had diminished over the period of her marriage; her age and the lifestyle she had enjoyed with her husband would also contribute to the assessment of what should be reasonable financial provision for her.

Any individual whether they are wealthy or not who is married or in a long term relationship should take advice on whether the manner in which they are proposing to divide their estate is likely to create a risk of a claim being brought by their bereaved spouse or partner. If they fail to heed the advice the consequences for their entire family could be devastating.