Jewelry assets acquired during a marriage

I am dealing with an estate, wife passed away, second marriage, will of personalty left everything to 2 of her children.

The issue of how to deal with the Jewelry is becoming contentious between second husband and her children from her first marriage.

Items of jewelry purchased by the husband as gifts to his wife have been treated as belonging to her estate and so pass to her children in terms of her will. The jewelry that was bought into the marriage forms part of her estate.

The question I have been asked is what about jewelry the wife purchased during the time they were married, do these become joint assets or do they form part of her estate. The issue is that the funds to pay for the jewelry would have come from the joint bank account as that is the way they ran the financial affairs.

Any input/comments would be greatly appreciated.

Brendan Noone
Noone & Associates

The jewellery purchased by the wife out of the joint account for her own benefit belongs solely to her on her death. It is not a joint asset.

Other things being equal, as monies appear to have been withdrawn as necessary/desired by each spouse following a pooling of resources without any attempt to keep specific track as to who made deposits and who made withdrawals then once the spouse withdrew monies those monies belonged to her beneficially as then did the jewellery so purchased.

See National Provincial Bank v Bishop Ch [1965]

Malcolm Finney

Many thanks, I was having great difficulty trying to explain it to the husband & beneficiaries, this helped clarify matters.

Brendan Noone
Noone & Associates