After being left out of her husband’s will, a millionaire businessman’s widow has been involved in a court battle.
After Fiaz Ali Shah, 64, passed away from a brain hemorhage, Srendarjit Kaur jassal, 57 is now fighting for her four children. He left everything to his only son Sajad Al Ali Shah.
Mrs Jassal, who was branded ‘a b***h’ by one of his daughters, said she was entitled to support because she was living with Mr Shah as his wife before his death.
However, his children, who all come from a previous relationship, claim that the couple split up in 2012, and that their relationship was on again off again’.
In his 2018 will, the property developer did not name his three daughters Shabana, Sofia, and Sabrina as beneficiaries. However, the children claimed that he created a secret trust to provide for their needs.
Mrs Jassal is now in court, claiming that she is entitled to a’reasonable provision’ from her deceased husband’s estate.
After Fiaz Ali Shah, 64, passed away from a brain hemorhage, Srendarjit Kaur (pictured), 57 is now fighting for her four children.
Shabana Shah in evidence denied disliking her stepmother because she was ‘an interloper’ but admitted writing ‘OMG she is a b***h’ in a text to one of her sisters.
Mrs Jassal, however, insists that her marriage was strong to its end and says she has a Valentine’s card from the year that her husband died to support it.
London’s High court heard that Mr Shah died in March 2020 as the UK lurched into lockdown, leaving behind a property portfolio and £1.1 million in the bank.
His 2018 will left all his wealth to his son. This left his cash-strapped widow with nothing.
Mrs Jassall claims that she is entitled to reasonable provision from Mr Shah’s estate under the 1975 Inheritance act. This is because they were married for many years prior to his death.
Andrew Morrell, her barrister told the court that Shah supported her and gave her a roof when they were together.
Mrs Jassal maintained that she had always lived in Slough in the same home as Mr Shah and that they shared a loving relationship.
His 2018 will did not name his three daughters, Sofia (left), Shabana (second left) and Sabrina (right), a property developer. The children claimed that he set up a “secret trust” to provide for their needs.
Mr Morrell claimed that they were married under Islamic law for almost 20 years. Stepdaughter Shabana, however, testified that they were together for almost 20 years and had been married under Islamic law.
Shabana stated that her father’s relationship to Ms Jassall was not serious.
She stated to the court that she didn’t like some aspects of her behavior and the way she treated him.
‘I did say that,’ she told the court when explaining a text calling her stepmother a b***h. She said she was upset because Mrs Jassal was denying access to her father while he was unwell.
She said, “I was supposed see him in hospital, but was told that I wasn’t allowed to,”
Sajad Shah, the son of Mr Shah, supported his sister’s version and insisted that his father was separated from his stepmother. He stated that ‘She was kicked out in 2012’.
“They split up in 2012,” he said. It had been boiling for a while and I would say that they were having major problems starting in 2009,” he told Judge Deputy Master Matthew Marsh.
Oliver Ingham for the siblings told the judge: “She was not living in the same household for two years immediately before his death, let alone as “husband-and-wife”.
Their relationship was ‘complicated, variable’, Mr Ingham stated, calling it ‘on again, off again’.
Mrs Jassal’s barrister, however, highlighted a series of intimate and domestic texts between her & Mr Shah. He said they were proof of the stability and length of their relationship.
The texts, which number in the hundreds, were scattered over the five years preceding Mr Shah’s death. Some of them were loving while others revealed the’mundane ‘intricates of settled domestic lives.
“There are times when the claimant complains about the deceased not doing the washing up. He may complain of him eating McDonalds or prepacked pickles. Or the deceased simply asking the claimant to stop the cabbage from being cooked as he is returning home in 15 minutes.
“But there are many, numerous expressions of love or affection. On their last Valentine’s Day, the deceased wrote: “But, I still love you. No one can love me like you.”
Mr Shah supported Mrs Jassal for almost 20 years. He said that Mrs Jassal has ‘virtually zero financial resources’ and can’t work because of medical issues.
Her barrister stated that her client now deserves a very significant payment from her estate’ due to her predicament.
Mr Morrell also questioned the existence of any secret trust that would benefit all Mr Shah’s children.
According to the siblings’ barrister, the trust was discussed between Mr Shah’s children and Mr Shah’s children. It was in accordance with Islamic practice that his son would inherit his father’s fortune and then distribute it fairly among his family.
In a court battle for fair provision, Mrs Jassal is sueing Shabana Shah and Sajad Shah, who are both executors in their father’s will.
The judge has now reservé his decision in the case, which will be made at a later time.