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Undisclosed Assets on Break-Up Cause Problems for Executor

When a couple break up, a financial settlement is normally agreed between them as part of the proceedings and that, usually, is that.

However, in a recent case involving civil partners who had split up, the death of one partner shortly after the financial settlement had been concluded was followed by clear evidence that she had misled the court over the extent of her wealth when the settlement was made.

Her former civil partner went to court to claim that the settlement in her favour should be rescinded and a more generous one substituted, the claim being brought against the executor of her former partner's estate.

The Family Court refused the claim.

On appeal, the Court of Appeal concluded that the rules relating to full disclosure should apply even after death and that the Family Court should make a new financial support order based on the known facts.

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    An executor who discovers that the person whose estate they are administering had a financial settlement order made to benefit someone that is still in effect, and that the deceased significantly understated their wealth in evidence in those proceedings, is in a very difficult situation and should take expert legal advice straight away, as the potential ramifications are severe.

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    The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.