Court Awards Daughter £30,000 after Estate of Estranged Father has been Distributed by Executor
September 12, 2017 12:49 pm
In July 2017 the Supreme Court awarded an estranged daughter £30,000 from her deceased father’s estate although her father, Stanley Nahajec, had clearly stated in his will that he wished to make no provision for any of his children, instead leaving his entire estate to a friend, Stephen Fowle.
Two of his three children made a claim on the will and one son received a £22,000 settlement. The daughter’s case reached the Supreme Court and the judge eventually made a partial settlement to her although this contradicted wishes laid out in the father’s will. Adult children do not have an automatic claim on the assets of adeceased parent but the judge made the decision in Mis Nahajec’s favour because of two factors. He believed the estrangement between father and daughter was due to actions of the deceased with the daughter able to prove she had made many historic attempts at reconcilliation. He also believed that Miss Nahajec’s father had some responsibility and obligations towards her because of her striken financial circumstances.
In summing up the judge admonished Mr Fowle, the executor and beneficiary because he had unjustifiably dissipated the estate in knowledge of the claim. As both executor and beneficiary Mr Fowle had largely “spent” the assets of the estate. In these circumstances the successful £30,000 claim by Miss Nahajec and possibly court costs would have personally fallen to Mr Fowle as the executor, whether or not he was a beneficiary of the estate.