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You can’t take it with you – or leave it behind: Roberts and Milbour v Fresco [2017] EWHC 283 (Ch)

Date:6 MAR 2017
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Barrister and Mediator

The personal non-inheritable nature of a spouse’s (and by extension any other category of applicant’s) claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 has recently been confirmed in Roberts and Milbour v Fresco [2017] EWHC 283 (Ch). It also reiterates the like nature of claims under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 which were recently confirmed not to survive for the benefit of a trustee in bankruptcy in Robert v Woodall [2016] EWHC 538 (Ch).


Mrs Milbour died on 5 January 2014 leaving an estate of c.£16.75m. Her husband of 41 years died in October of that year having issued no claim under the 1975 Act (despite receiving just £150 000 and the income from a fund of £75 000). He was not independently wealthy: his estate was c.£320 000 gross (including the £150 000 from his wife). The Milbours’ matrimonial home – with a value of c.£9m – had fallen outside of both estates being held by trustees for Mrs Milbour for life and the defendant in remainder.

There were no children of the marriage. Mr Milbour had two children a daughter (the first claimant) and...

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