Re Ramus a Surviving Spouse Claim That Failed
Will claim Solicitors, specialist no win no fee will dispute and will contest Solicitors, discuss Re Ramus  EWHC 2309 where the surviving widow’s claim failed
Re Ramus  EWHC 2309 – how did a claim by the surviving widow fail?
The case of Re Ramus  EWHC 2309 was a claim by a so-called favoured applicant for financial provision under section 2 of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 from the estate of her late husband. We provide a link to the Judgment below:
Ramus v Holt & Ors (Re Estate of Christopher Stewart Ramus)  EWHC 2309 (Ch) (08 September 2022) (bailii.org)
Claims by disappointed spouses under the 1975 Act are generally considered to be among the easiest to win [although the easiest to win are probably those by disappointed infant children]; widows (and widowers) are generally considered to be favoured applicants. Notably, the Act determines that:
s 1(2)(a) confirms that maintenance is not limited to that which is reasonable for his/her maintenance:
(2)In this Act “reasonable financial provision”—
(a)in the case of an application made by virtue of subsection (1)(a) above by the husband or wife of the deceased (except where the marriage with the deceased was the subject of a [F8judicial separation order] and at the date of death [F9the order] was in force and the separation was continuing), means such financial provision as it would be reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for a husband or wife to receive, whether or not that provision is required for his or her maintenance;
s 3(2) allows the court to take into account the amount the spouse might have received on divorce
(2)[F16 This subsection applies, without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (g) of subsection (1) above, where an application for an order under section 2 of this Act is made by virtue of section 1(1)(a) or (b) of this Act.]
The court shall, in addition to the matters specifically mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (f) of that subsection, have regard to—
(a)the age of the applicant and the duration of the marriage [F17or civil partnership];
(b)the contribution made by the applicant to the welfare of the family of the deceased, including any contribution made by looking after the home or caring for the family.
F18. . . In the case of an application by the wife or husband of the deceased, the court shall also, unless at the date of death a [F19judicial separation order] was in force and the separation was continuing, have regard to the provision which the applicant might reasonably have expected to receive if on the day on which the deceased died the marriage, instead of being terminated by death, had been terminated by a [F20divorce order] [F21; but nothing requires the court to treat such provision as setting an upper or lower limit on the provision which may be made by an order under section 2.]
Our previous blog as follows provides further information:
Claims by Spouse for Financial Provision From Their Late Husband or Wife’s Estate – Will Claim Solicitors
In Ramus though the claim failed and primarily for these reasons:
The claim was put on the basis that the widow required a monthly income to enable her to pay her outgoings but ignored the fact that she had sufficient capital left to her even after taking into account the purchase of a replacement property, to give her a reasonable income from life assuming the capital and income elements were deployed. The widow “wanted to have her cake and to eat it”. The courts currently assess available financial resources and needs by utilising tables which are designed to deplete all income and capital resources to zero on death – the so-called “Duxbury Tables” – see below.
The widows financial position improved after the death of her husband because there was a substantial increase in the value of a commercial property which she owned jointly with her deceased husband.
Observations on the “Duxbury Tables”
As above, the Duxbury Tables are in general deployed to calculate financial requirements in cases of this nature and assume both the utilisation of the income and capital and the complete dissipation of capital by the date of death.
The following might be helpful to practitioners:
Duxbury Table 15 contains some helpful notes:
Where recipients have a life expectancy of less than 15 years the usefulness of Duxbury declines, because the older a person is the more chance there is that he/she is going to outlive the predicted life expectancy.
The gross income requirements assume the recipient will receive his/her full state pension.
If you consider any of these facts and matters are of interest, are likely to apply to you, or you would like to ask us for more information about our no win no fee arrangement, or you simply want us to assess your claim, then please do not hesitate to contact us for a confidential no strings chat and/or visit us at www.willclaim.com.
We provide details about our no win no fee arrangements at https://www.willclaim.com/nowin-no-fee/.