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Private Clients Update 11

Battle over estate of pop star Prince because he hadn’t made a will

The family of the pop star Prince fear there could be a costly dispute over his multi-million pound fortune because he died without having made a will.

Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, has asked a court in the United States to appoint a special administrator to manage his estate because he left no will or instructions as to who should inherit his wealth.

Legal proceedings will now be necessary to decide how his estate should be divided between his relatives. It’s feared this could prove both costly and stressful for the family members involved.

Unfortunately, many people fail to make a will and so, without realising it, create unnecessary problems for their families.

For example, if you die intestate –without having made a will– the taxman may take a share of your estate.

Some may also go to an estranged husband or wife.

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Homemaker wife awarded shares worth £69m in divorce settlement

A woman who devoted her life to her family while her husband concentrated on developing his business has been awarded £69m in a divorce settlement.

The case involved a couple who began living together in 2002. They married in 2004 and the wife became a homemaker and a full-time mother to their two children. 

At the time they met, the husband was the chief executive of an online fashion retailer and owned company shares worth £1.2m. The wife had no significant wealth.

The husband continued to develop his company, which began to grow. He eventually sold some of his shares for £73m, which he and the wife invested in property and other assets while using some for the family to enjoy a higher standard of living.

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Woman wins sex discrimination claim against Leeds United

A woman has won her claims of unfair dismissal and sex discrimination against Leeds United Football Club.

Lucy Ward was employed as the club’s welfare and education officer for 17 years. She had also worked for the BBC as a commentator on women’s football.

Ms Ward claimed she was sacked because she was the partner of the club’s former coach, Neil Redfearn. She told the Employment Tribunal that the club’s chairman, Massimo Cellino, had allegedly said that she and Mr Redfearn “came as a pair”.

She said he had also made sexist remarks that football is no place for women, and they should be in the bedroom or the beautician’s instead.

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Wife of sex offender wins unfair dismissal claim against school

A woman who was sacked because she refused to leave her husband after his conviction for sex offences has won her claims of unfair dismissal and indirect religious discrimination.

The woman was a highly regarded teacher with an exemplary record at her school. However, her husband was convicted of making indecent images of children.

The woman was asked by her school to end her relationship with her husband. When she refused, she was dismissed immediately.

She brought a claim of unfair dismissal. She also alleged that she had been subjected to indirect religious discrimination because the school had failed to recognise that her devout Christian beliefs meant that her marriage vows were sacrosanct to her.

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