The children of late Monty Python star Terry Jones have taken legal action against the actor’s second wife following an inheritance dispute, reports have revealed.
Mr Jones, best known for his directorial roles in The Meaning of Life and Life of Brian, died in January 2020 after suffering from a rare form of dementia.
The Welsh comedian married his first wife, Alison Telfer, in 1970 and had two children together, Sally and Bill.
However, after 43 years of marriage together, Mr Jones left his wife for then 23-year-old Swedish Oxford graduate, Anna Söderström. The pair had a daughter, Siri, in 2009, and married in 2012.
But the writer and director was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in 2015, leading to his death in 2020. The disease is characterised by behavioural and personality changes, as well as forgetfulness and language problems.
While is it unknown if the disease prevented Mr Jones from making informed choices, it is reported that the two children are bringing the dispute under the Inheritance Act 1975, which allows family members to seek “reasonable provision” from an estate.
The court documents and contents of the Will are not publicly available, but Ms Söderström is believed to be the main beneficiary and primary defendant in the case.
Commenting on the case, Sally, 47, and Bill, 45, said Mr Jones lacked the mental capacity to draft the Will and are taking legal action against Ms Söderström at the High Court for a “large share of his estate”.
There are no forced heirship laws in England and Wales, but courts have limited power to intervene where there is judged to be a failure to make reasonable financial provision for a defined class of people connected to the deceased.
This includes the current or former spouse or civil partner of the deceased; a person who, for the two years prior to the death, was living with the deceased as if they were a spouse or civil partner; children; a person who was treated as a child; and any other person who was being maintained by the deceased.
For help and advice with related matters, please get in touch with our later life planning and dispute resolution team today.
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