A MILLIONAIRE’S wife has lost a bitter court spat with her daughter over a £900k trust fund after the judge said she was ‘rich enough’.
Elizabeth Ramus, 77, was married to Chris Ramus, 72, who made his millions selling lobsters after setting up his business in the 1970’s.
Elizabeth Ramus was left a trust fund in her ex husband’s willCredit: Champion News
Chris Ramus killed himself in 2020 after struggling to deal with family issuesCredit: Champion News
In 2020, the self-made millionaire killed himself after struggling to cope with a number of family issues.
Despite Elizabeth having a £1.6m fortune of her own and having divorced Chris in 2019 after 48 years, the trust fund was set up to provide a lifetime income for her.
But, the fund had been left in control of the ex-couple’s daughter Claire Holt, 46, and two of her friends, at Chris’s wishes.
Chris gave his daughter the power to stop payments to her mother at any time but Elizabeth argued the will did not make “reasonable financial provision” for her and went to court.
Elizabeth told the High Court in Leeds she had a “strained relationship” with Claire – someone who had criticised her spending – and didn’t want to be “at her mercy” financially.
According to Elizabeth, Claire had stated her mum did not need any additional money to maintain her lifestyle.
But, Elizabeth claimed the £1.6m she already had, was not enough and she did not want her financial security “in the hands of her daughter”.
The divorced pensioner from Harrogate, said even though they were in the process of getting divorced, Chris still had a “responsibility” to provide for her before he passed.
Claire, who is an executor of her father’s will and trustee, told the court her mother was not in financial need, she was an admitted millionaire and Claire was to “honour her father’s wishes”.
Judge West dismissed Elizabeth’s claim saying she was “cash rich” and had a big enough fortune herself to survive.
He said she had been treated fairly in the will and would not struggle after just giving her son £50,000.
“That is not consistent with a claim based on financial anxiety,” he added.
“In this case the value of Mrs Ramus’ assets significantly exceeds that of the estate of her late husband and she has sufficient to meet her needs.
“This is not a case where the applicant has no assets or no autonomy over any assets or where the trustees could remove the roof from over her head.
“She has assets in the region of £1.63m and even the purchase of a three-bedroom house in a desirable area of Harrogate for £750,000 would leave her with funds of £880,000, of which £488,000 is ring fenced as a retirement fund.
“Standing back and looking at the matter in the round, this is a case of an applicant who in all likelihood would not have received anything on divorce and who, even after the purchase of a three-bedroomed house for £750,000, would have financial autonomy and still have net assets not far short of £900,000.
“I am satisfied that the disposition of Mr Ramus’s estate under the terms of his will is such as to make financial provision for Mrs Ramus in the circumstances of the case and that the claim fails.”
Signs of suicide contemplation
These are some key signs to watch out for in not just your loved ones, but yourself, too:
- A change in routine, such as sleeping or eating less than normal
- Struggling to sleep, lacking energy or appearing particularly tired
- Drinking, smoking or using drugs more than usual
- Finding it hard to cope with everyday things
- Not wanting to do things they usually enjoy
- Becoming withdrawn from friends and family – not wanting to talk or be with people
- Appearing more tearful
- Appearing restless, agitated, nervous, irritable
- Putting themselves down in a serious or jokey way, for example ‘Oh, no one loves me’, or ‘I’m a waste of space’
- Losing interest in their appearance, not liking or taking care of themselves or feeling they don’t matter
Claire Holt fought her mother in court for responsibility of a £900k trust fundCredit: Champion News