Krubert, Re; Krubert v Davis and Others: CA 27 Jun 1996

The beneficiaries under the will appealed against an order under the 1975 Act, effectively transferring the entire estate to the surviving spouse.
Held: The effect of sections 1, 2 and the other material provisions of the 1975 Act is that on every application under it the court must ask itself two questions: first, has reasonable financial provision been made for the applicant; second, if not, what financial provision ought he or she to receive? Provision for deceased’s wife were to be read to follow the Act and not necessarily as would occur on a divorce.
As to the two cases of Besterman and Moody: ‘
There had been confusion arising from the conflict of approach taken in Re Bestermann and in Moody v Stevenson. The case of re Besterman was to be preferred. The Recorder had made an error of principle: ‘While I fully appreciate that the question what is reasonable provision is not to be determined exclusively by the financial needs of the applicant, especially when he or she is a surviving spouse, it is a consideration which must be taken into account. Looking at the matter in the round, I think that if the deceased had made reasonable provision for Mrs. Krubert out of his other resources, it would have been reasonable for him to have left his brother and sister the reversionary interest in the house; conversely, it would not have been unreasonable for him only to have left Mrs. Krubert a life interest in it. Accordingly, to award her an absolute interest in the house and all but andpound;14,000 of the other assets was in my judgment an error of principle on the recorder’s part . . Having considering the question afresh, I think there is indeed a conflict between the two decisions, if only one of emphasis. However conflict of emphasis can often cause problems at first instance for busy district and circuit judges. Moreover we have some anecdotal evidence that the approach adopted in Moody -v- Stevenson may indeed have caused confusion at that level, especially in the cases of small estates. I can understand that, if only because on a divorce there are two parties to be provided for, whereas on an application under the (inheritance legislation) there is only one. In my view Oliver LJ’s approach is preferable, being more in accordance with the intention of the Act when read as a whole. I think it should be adopted accordingly.’
Nourse LJ, Cazalet J
Gazette 17-Jul-1996, Times 16-Jul-1996, [1997] Ch 96, [1996] EWCA Civ 1346
Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
England and Wales
CitedDavis v Davis CA 1993
The deceased had left his widow a life interest in his residuary estate, with power for his trustees to purchase a house for her occupation, which they had duly exercised. The essential question was whether, as the widow claimed, she should be . .
CitedRe Bunning, deceased; Bunning v Salmon ChD 1984
Vinelott J calculated that the maximum award which the widow would have received in matrimonial proceedings to be 36,000 pounds. Yet on an application under the 1975 Act he awarded her 60,000 pounds. . .
PreferredRe Besterman, decd CA 1984
In the case of an application under the Act by a surviving spouse, maintenance is not the only, or even the dominant, consideration to be taken into account by the court. ‘In an application under section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 the . .
Not preferredMoody v Stevenson CA 12-Jul-1991
The widower aged 81, appealed against refusal of provision under the 1975 Act from his wife’s estate. She had left him nothing. The judge at first instance had found, applying Styler, that her treatment was not unreasonable, and that therefore no . .
CitedJessop v Jessop CA 2-Jan-1992
The court considered the provision to be made under the 1975 Act for a surviving spouse: ‘In his argument in this court Mr. Vane relied strongly on s 3(2) and referred us to a recent case in this court, Moody v. Stevenson, a decision of Mustill LJ . .
CitedRe Inns, Inns v Wallace 1947
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Cited by:
CitedMoorhead v Moorhead ChNI 11-Jan-2002
The deceased’s widow complained that her husband’s will had not made proper provision for her as was required by the order which ‘ In the case of a spouse reasonable financial provision means such financial provision as it would be reasonable in all . .
CitedBarron v Woodhead and Another ChD 25-Jun-2008
The claimant sought provision under the 1975 Act from the estate of his deceased wife. . .

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Updated: 11 April 2021; Ref: scu.372642