“As recently reported, IT tycoon Matt Tomon died suddenly aged 38 without having made a Will. He had sold his business shortly before he died and placed £5.2m in his second wife’s account. This left his first wife, Louisa Simonetta (who had helped to found his IT firm*), and their two sons with nothing. Ms Simonetta felt compelled to challenge this and took the matter to the High Court to argue that it was Mr Tomon’s wish both to provide a house for the family and to fund the private education of their young sons. Mr Justice Williams ruled that Ms Simonetta and the two boys should receive a £2m share as a ‘reasonable and sensible compromise’ so as to avoid prolonging the case which he imagined would make have made Mr Tomon very sad. The Judge went on to say “Such is one of the consequences of failing to make provision in the form of a Will or otherwise for your family”.
As the above story illustrates, dying without a Will causes problems for those left behind, In this instance, the matter had to go to Court, invariably an expensive process, so that the first wife and children could obtain the benefit that they would otherwise have had if the ex-husband and father had lived and fulfilled his promises of providing for them.
Making a Will needs careful thought in order to consider how to protect family, loved ones and business partners. This can be achieved by a discussion with one of our Wills experts who can then prepare your Will to benefit those for whom you care.
For further information see our articles ‘Why make a Will?‘ and ‘Business Continuity following an intestacy‘ or, if you already realise that you need to make a Will, then please telephone us to make an appointment.
*The wife’s right to share in the assets of the husband when she had participated in the growth of the assets (eg a business) was first recognised in the landmark case brought by Michael Freeman of this Firm on behalf of Mrs Gojkovic and upheld by the Court of Appeal in 1992. Ref: Gojkovic -v- Gojkovic (No 2)  2 FLR 233;  Fam 40; Times, 01 May 1991;  1 AER 267