Sheffield widow wins a bigger slice of £6 million will

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THE widow of a wealthy Sheffield businessman has won her legal battle for a fairer share of his £6 million fortune after he left her little more than his collection of Dinky toys.

Barbara Lilleyman, aged 66, wed her husband Roy two years before his death, aged 64, from heart failure in 2010.

He left the rest of his estate to his two sons, Nigel and Christopher, from an earlier marriage. They disputed their stepmother’s bid for a larger slice of his cash.

London’s High Court heard Mr Lilleyman was a ‘successful and hard-working businessman’ who built up steel businesses around Sheffield. He set up his third company, Apollo Metals, alongside his two sons.

He met second wife Barbara at a social club eight years ago and the pair were engaged by December 2005.

They moved into a new home at Water Meadows, Worksop and Mr Lilleyman bought a luxury apartment in Bournemouth, intending it to be a second home.

Mrs Lilleyman sold her own home in Robinson Drive, Worksop, paying £175,000 to her husband, with part of the cash going towards the purchase of a house in Worksop for her son, Robert, Mr Justice Briggs told the court.

But Mr Lilleyman’s health deteriorated throughout 2009, and he died in January 2010.

His will left his widow just ‘personal chattels’ - including his £17,000 Dinky toy collection and various coins - and ‘limited rights of occupation’ in both the couple’s houses.

She was also entitled to a small annuity.

He left the rest of his £6 million estate - and his share in the Bournemouth and Worksop properties - to his two sons.

Mrs Lilleyman challenged her husband’s will on the basis ‘reasonable provision’ entitled her to a ‘substantial share’ in the matrimonial property.

Mr Justice Briggs said it had become ‘manifestly clear’ during the trial the will did not make reasonable provision for the widow’s needs.

The judge directed that her husband’s share in Water Meadows should be transferred to Mrs Lilleyman, and the Bournemouth flat should be transferred ‘outright’ to her.

“She should also retain the gift of chattels under the will, including the toy and coin collections,” the judge concluded.