Judge freezes estate assets in dispute over inheritance
An administrator of a deceased person’s estate was granted a freezing injunction for a property that had been transferred into a family member’s name to avoid tax liability.
The deceased had died without making a will.
The administrator of his estate contended that a few years before his death, the deceased had put a property in his son’s name.
The property had been bought with the deceased's money and transferred to the son for tax purposes. The son was living in Ghana and had received over £500,000 from the estate, which included the value of the property and others that had been transferred to him in similar circumstances.
The court held that there was a serious issue to be tried as to whether the son had a beneficial interest, given that he had acknowledged that the property was transferred to him to avoid tax and as such, he did not own it.
It was important to consider whether there was a risk of dissipation of assets. The son had failed to acknowledge that the administrator was entitled to restore the assets to the estate and was in the process of selling the property at the heart of the dispute.
A freezing injunction was therefore granted.
Please contact Benedict Smith or Jamiel Zaman if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of wills and probate.