Death of Euromillions winner expected to set in motion Scotland's biggest inheritance case as future of his football club remains uncertain

Death of Euromillions winner expected to set in motion Scotland's biggest inheritance case as future of his football club remains uncertain

The death of the UK's second biggest Euromillions winner is expected to set in motion Scotland's biggest inheritance case, as the future of the football club he part owned remains uncertain.

Colin Weir and his then wife Christine, from Largs in North Ayrshire, scooped the £161m jackpot in July 2011. The 71-year-old former TV cameraman died on Friday following a "short illness", his lawyers announced.

Mr Weir invested in his beloved football club, Partick Thistle, and secured a majority shareholding last month.

He had promised to give the 55 per cent shareholding directly to a fans group by March 2020 and had emphasised the need for a "smooth transfer of ownership".

"This has all happened quicker than anyone might have anticipated," he said at the time. "That's why I have offered a three to four month window for fans to get everything in place before handing over shares."

But his death has prompted questions about the fate of the club now the transition has been interrupted, as well as how his enormous estate will be dealt with by the Scottish courts.

Scott Brady QC, who took silk in Scotland in 2000, said the process could take years to conclude.

"If you've got an estate which is very valuable, such as antiques, then all the items have to be valued and inventoried," he told The Telegraph.

"With a £161m fortune, I'd imagine it is going to take years. It may have to go through the Court of Session, which deals with civil matters in Scotland."

Under Scottish law, a legal document known as the 'confirmation' must first be obtained from the sheriff court for the executor to then legally distribute the estate.

Mr Brady said even this initial process could take a long time.

"I seriously wonder who is going to be handling his estate on the court side of things," he said. "This will probably be one of the biggest estates they will ever have to deal with in Scotland."

Mr Weir divorced his wife of 38 years, a former psychiatric nurse, this year and the couple have two grown-up children together.

The former couple donated millions of pounds to the SNP and the Scottish independence campaign ahead of the 2014 referendum. Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was "incredibly sad" to learn of Mr Weir's death.

They also set up The Weir Charitable Trust in 2013, which will continue to receive applications for funding from small charities until February 28, according to its website.

A minute's applause was held at the Partick Thistle game on Saturday in tribute to Mr Weir.

The club tweeted: "Our love, thoughts and prayers are with the family and close friends of Colin at this most difficult time."

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