Paul v Paul & Ors  EWHC 1638 (Fam)
Published: 14/06/2022 09:00
Application by K for reasonable financial provision from estate of her late husband S, and a declaration that the FMH in S’s sole name was held on constructive trust for herself and S’s estate in equal shares. For unknown reasons, as marriage happy, S’s Will (not professionally drawn up) only gave K the contents of the FMH with balance of estate left to S’s adult and minor children from this marriage and adult children from a previous marriage. It is possible that S assumed K had 50% share in FMH already and that a policy would discharge the mortgage when in fact it fell into the estate.
Held – K had 50% interest in FMH based on actual common intention coupled with detriment in paying mortgage for years. All parties agreed that Will did not make reasonable provision for K, but disagreed as to quantum. In considering Inheritance Act claim, Moor J looks at W’s fictional entitlement on divorce: ‘almost certain’ equal sharing, probably more than this due to need and presence of minor child. H would have no needs as deceased, but a desire to provide inheritance for his children. K was recipient of £250k inheritance from one of S’s relatives, which reduced her claim for reasonable provision, and a separate policy paid the child’s school fees. Her income only sufficient to basic expenses. Her living costs should be subsidised and she needed funds for a new car and pension provision. Awarded 50% estate.