Wife wins case, gets N1 billion naira after her billionaire husband excluded her in his will

Wife wins case, gets N1 billion naira after her billionaire husband excluded her in his will


The High Court has granted Harbans Kaur, an 83-year-old woman who was married for 66 years, half of her late husband’s estate, estimated at N1 billion naira, which he had left entirely to their two sons.

The case, which unfolded after the death of Karnail Singh in 2021, highlighted his desire to pass on his wealth exclusively to his male descendants.

The judgment, handed down by Justice Peel, underscored the importance of fair and equal provision for spouses and warned against excluding them from wills.

Singh’s estate, valued at over £1 million (equivalent to N1 billion naira), encompassed a thriving clothing business and multiple properties.

However, the will he had penned in 2005 excluded Kaur and their four daughters from inheriting anything, in line with his preference to pass on his wealth solely along the male lineage.

Challenging the will’s validity, Kaur contended that she was entitled to a fair share of the assets, given her significant contributions to both the marriage and the family business.

Justice Peel upheld Kaur’s claim and ruled that she should receive 50% of the net value of the estate.

The judge emphasized that Singh had failed to make reasonable provision for his wife, who had played an equal and active role in their long-standing marriage and the family business.

Justice Peel said;

“It is hard to see how any other conclusion can be reached. 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 verdict was received with appreciation by Heledd Wyn, a partner at law firm Shakespeare Martineau, who applauded the court’s decision as a stern message to individuals seeking to exclude their spouses from wills.

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Wyn emphasized that this ruling demonstrated that people cannot be easily cut out of wills, particularly spouses who have significantly contributed to the marriage and family over many years.


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