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Widow and daughters cut out of husband’s will as he wanted to give everything to his sons

Widow and daughters cut out of husband’s will as he wanted to give everything to his sons

Harbans Kaur wasn't going to receive any shares of the estate worth more than £1 million

An 83-year-old woman took her deceased husband's will to court after it emerged that he'd attempted to cut her and their daughters out and leave everything to his two sons.

Harbans Kaur tied the knot with Karnail Singh in 1955, and over their 66 years of marriage they went on to welcome six children together; two boys and four girls.

The family had run a clothing business, where Kaur worked while also playing a 'full role' in her marriage.

Kaur and Singh had been married for 66 years.
Martin Lehmann / Alamy Stock Photo

However, it seems that six decades of marriage, six children and collaboration at work weren't enough to convince Singh that his wife should get a share of his estate, which was worth more than £1 million.

Singh created his will in 2005 and passed away in 2021, when it was determined that he 'wished to leave his estate solely down the male line'.

That meant that Kaur and the couple's four daughters would be left with nothing, while the two sons would get everything.

Kaur estimated the estate to be worth £1.9m gross, though one of the sons estimated it was actually valued at £1.2m.

The case was heard in high court as Kaur sought to get a share of her late husband's estate, while currently living with an income consisting of state benefits of about £12,000.

Mr Justice Peel, who heard the case in the family division of the high court in London, commented: "By [a] will, dated 25 June 2005, the estate was left in equal shares to two of the children … the sons of the claimant and the deceased."

Singh intended to leave everything to his two sons.
Piotr Adamowicz / Alamy Stock Photo

“The reason why the will was crafted in these terms, excluding the claimant and the other four siblings, was because the deceased wished to leave his estate solely down the male line," Peel continued.

Justice Peel described the matter as the 'clearest possible case' in which he could conclude that Singh had not left Kaur with 'reasonable provision' following his death.

“It is hard to see how any other conclusion can be reached," Justice Peel said. "After a marriage of 66 years, to which [Kaur] made a full and equal contribution, and during which all the assets accrued, she is left with next to nothing."

Justice Peel determined Kaur should 'receive 50 percent of the net value of the estate', meaning she should walk away with more than half a million pounds.

Heledd Wyn, a partner at law firm Shakespeare Martineau, regarded the ruling as a warning to people crafting their wills, saying: "This decision is evidence that people cannot simply be cut out of wills, especially spouses which have contributed for a significant number of years.

“The court has been very clear on this matter and has ruled in the interest of fairness.”

Featured Image Credit: Michael Lusmore / marc zakian / Alamy

Topics: Sex and Relationships, Money