Dead Husband Leaves Estate to Sons to Prioritize "Male Line," Omitting Wife and 4 Daughters
But a judge ruled that the husband did not provide enough for his widow.
Talk about a parting gift: Karnail Singh, a British man who died in 2021, left his entire estate — valued at more than £1 million ($1.2 million) — to his two sons, leaving his wife of decades and his four daughters with nothing. The man's reasoning? He "wished to leave his estate solely down the male line," according to testimony in a British court. Not so fast, said a British judge in the Family Division of the High Court in London, The Telegraph reported. He decided that Singh's long-suffering wife, Harbans Kaur, 83, was entitled to half of the estate for her contributions to the marriage, ruling that "reasonable provision" was not made for her. Here's what you need to know about this shocking case.
Singh and Kaur Were Married a Long Time
"The claimant and the deceased married in 1955, so that by the time of his death they had been married for about 66 years," the judge ruled, The Telegraph reported. "They had seven children, of whom one sadly is deceased," the judge said.
Singh and Kaur ran a clothing business, the judge said. Kaur had a "full role" in the marriage and the business, the judge added. Even so, "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," the judge said.
Kaur's income now comes from state benefits valued at about £12,000 ($14,400). "After a marriage of 66 years, to which she made a full and equal contribution, and during which all the assets accrued, she is left with next to nothing," the judge said.
Wife Is Entitled to Half the Estate
Kaur did her part, and it's time to pay up, the judge said in essence. "It seems to me that this is the clearest possible case entitling me to conclude that reasonable provision has not been made for the claimant," the judge said. "It is hard to see how any other conclusion can be reached." Because of her contributions, Kaur should "receive 50 per cent of the net value of the estate," the court ruled.
It's unclear whether the four surviving daughters will share in the estate. The two sons will presumably keep their half of the estate.