Slain billionaire Barry Sherman divided estate equally among four children
TORONTO -- Slain billionaire Barry Sherman left his entire estate to be evenly distributed among his four adult children in the event of his wife’s death, according to court documents.
The estate had sought to have all documents pertaining to the last will and testament of the Apotex founder sealed due to safety concerns but in a unanimous decision last week the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the contents of the documents did not meet the threshold to warrant an exception to the open court principle and ordered their release.
The newly unsealed estate papers list assets of more than $124 million, though that number would not include the bulk of the Sherman fortune that was tied up in various holding companies.
In fact, at the time of Barry Sherman’s death Forbes had estimated his net worth at $3.2 billion U.S. and the Toronto Star has reported that it could be much higher than that.
Among the dozens of pages of documents unsealed on Friday is Sherman’s primary will as well as a secondary will that covered another tranche of assets.
In the primary will, Barry directs his trustees to evenly distribute his entire fortune among his four children in the event of Honey Sherman’s death.
But he asks that more than 40 per cent of each child’s share be withheld until they turn 35. They would receive one quarter of their share upon turning 24 and one-third upon turning 30.
Sherman also laid out instructions in the event that he died before his wife.
In that case, he asked that trustees hold his entire estate in trust and pay “the net annual income derived therefrom” to Honey Sherman “in quarterly instalments.
He also gives his trustees “absolute and unfettered discretion” to provide Honey Sherman with additional payments from his estate to provide for her “comfortable maintenance and benefit” as they deem fit.
Interestingly, Sherman does not direct that any portion of his estate be donated to charity and instead states that his four children - Lauren, Jonathon, Alexandra and Kaelen - would split it evenly upon Honey’s death.
Both Barry and Honey Sherman were noted philanthropists who gave hundreds of millions of dollars to charity over the course of their lifetimes.
“I direct my trustees to divide such residues as it then exists into as many equal shares as may be required to carry out the following and to set aside one of such equal shares for each child of mine who survives the division date…” the will states.
SHERMAN WILL WAS LAST UPDATED IN 2017
The release of the estate papers comes nearly three-and-a-half a years after Barry and Honey were found dead in their home on Old Colony Road by a realtor showing the property.
They were found in a semi-seated position on the deck of their indoor pool, hanging by belts from a railing. Autopsies revealed that both Honey and Barry died of ligature neck compression.
While some police sources initially suggested that the incident could have been a murder-suicide, police eventually classified it as a double homicide.
However, to date no arrests have been made.
Barry’s primary will is dated May 13, 2005 but it was amended in March, 2017, just prior to his death, to change the trustees listed.
He previously named eight trustees including all four of his children but in 2017 changed it so that only his son Jonathon Sherman, his son-in law Bradley Krawczyk, his business partner Jack Kay and family holding company executive Alex Glasenberg were listed as trustees.
The estate papers suggest that Barry had $124 million in assets at the time of his death, including more than $6 million in real estate holdings.
Honey Sherman did not have a will at the time of her death.