Our client’s partner (they had been together 23 years) died domiciled in Alderney, leaving property and other assets in Alderney in addition to an English property worth approximately £2 million. The registered proprietor of this property is a BVI company. The deceased was the sole shareholder and director of that company.
The deceased left a Will disposing of his real estate in Alderney to his three children. The deceased remained married at the time of his death to his wife from whom he had separated some 24 years previously. The client had lived in the English property throughout the duration of her relationship with the deceased. Other assets in the English jurisdiction included a number of light aircraft and a collection of vintage cars. Our client contributed capital sums to a substantial extension and improvement of the English property. We are retained by the client to advise and pursue a claim for reasonable financial provision and in respect of a beneficial interest in the English property.
Difficult points / issues have arisen which we are advising on and dealing with. These include:
The deceased’s domicile;
Partial intestacy in the Guernsey / Alderney jurisdiction;
Recently introduced legislation in Guernsey / Alderney similar to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (I(PFD) Act 1975);
Advising in relation to constructive trust claims / proprietary estoppel claims in respect of the English property – complicated by virtue of the fact that the property is owned by a BVI registered company;
A possible claim by the deceased’s wife for financial provision;
We are working with Guernsey lawyers who are assisting us in dealing with procedural requirements of commencing Inheritance Act proceedings in Guernsey / Alderney, in relation to Guernsey / Alderney intestacy laws etc.
At this stage we have provided the client with comprehensive advice sufficient to enable her to approach the deceased’s family with a view to discussing possible settlement terms without the necessity of formal proceedings being issued in both jurisdictions. We consider it likely that such negotiations will not progress in which case we will be instructing Senior Chancery Counsel to advise on all issues arising, and thereafter to issue a claim for a beneficial interest in the English jurisdiction and an Inheritance Act claim in Guernsey / Alderney.