You and the Law – 26th May 2009

Riches to charity

My husband’s uncle died last year, leaving a number of bequests including shares in a family business. However, he left the bulk of his estate to a charitable fund.

The fund now operates under a different name to the one mentioned in the will, and we have been advised that this part of the will can therefore be contested. What’s the position? SM

You should obviously take detailed advice on this, but it’s likely that the various name changes of the charitable fund will be incorporated into the trust deed to cover exactly this situation.

However, even if this hasn’t been done, it¹s unlikely that the gift would fail and the money be distributed among yourselves. Where the literal execution of a charitable trust becomes impracticable, the court will apply the gift to a charity as near as possible to the original purpose named by the donor.

Poor man’s travels

When I approached the Child Support Agency for an increase in maintenance for our two children, my ex-husband claimed to be in such severe financial difficulties that no increase was ordered.

Then, within a matter of weeks, he booked a family holiday to America with his new girlfriend.

I was so incensed that I refused permission for the children to go with them, since it was in term-time. Was I right to do this?

In view of the holiday can I not pursue my case for a maintenance increase? RB

Generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to involve children in money squabbles, although your anger is understandable.

Of course maintenance calculations will not take into account any income provided by your ex-husband’s new partner. It’s possible she is fairly affluent even if your ex-husband has no money.

I presume the CSA looked into your ex-husband’s finances.

If you can provide evidence that he was being less than truthful you can go back to them; discuss this with your solicitor.

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