The value of a family business or business interest is treated as an asset and therefore part of the matrimonial pot to be distributed when it comes to negotiating a financial settlement on divorce or...
(Chancery Division; Geraldine Andrews QC sitting as a deputy judge of the High Court); 5 October 2009)
In the same year in which the deceased's two daughters began paying £100 per month to the deceased and his wife, each received money or property to the value of £20,000.
After the deceased's wife died, the deceased remarried. The monthly payments from the daughters continued to be made until the death of the deceased.
In his will, the deceased left his estate (valued at £231,000) to his second wife. The two daughters claimed that the deceased's estate was bound by proprietary estoppel, in that the deceased had repeatedly assured them that they would benefit from his estate.
Dismissing the claim, there had been no express assurances or promises after the deceased's re-marriage. The payments of £100 per month had been an essential and integral part of the arrangement whereby each claimant had received cash or property to the value of £20,000.
Taking everything into consideration, there was no particular reason for the deceased and the first wife to have made any specific promise or assurance to the daughters that they would receive the balance of their inheritance if they continued to make regular payments during the remainder of the couple's lifetimes.