Contentious probate â€“ when a Will is contested
Complicated family structures can result in an undignified battle when it comes to the delicate matter of inheritance; as seen recently in the media, when the partner of a millionaire spent six years in legal dispute with the children of her former boyfriend.
Ramadan Guney, who owned the UK’s largest cemetery, had six grown up children, then fathered another child with his new partner.
On his death, Mr Guney left a £28 million fortune which was then fought over by the six children and Mr Guney’s partner, who wanted to claim “reasonable financial provision” against his Estate.
The battle became extremely ugly, with the children claiming their father had had a vasectomy 30 years previously and questioning the parentage of the other youngest son. In turn, Ms Holiday, Mr Gurney’s partner, claimed that the six siblings had tried to kill her. The situation became so bad that Mr Gurney’s grown up children claimed that their father had in fact been murdered, and had his body exhumed.
Finally, despite the outlandish claims from both sides, the Court agreed with Ms Holiday and awarded her £60,000 per year from the Estate, along with the cemetery, valued between £700,000 and £1.2 million.
Prevent any bad blood occurring between your family members by not only keeping your Will updated but by maintaining a memorandum, which will explain your wishes and reasons behind the content of your Will.