Issues for Spouses & Partners

Losing your spouse/civil partner or unmarried partner is a difficult time. The distress of this loss may be made worse if you do not share in the estate under the Will.

This section discusses your rights to contest the Will of your deceased other half, and some of the issues that you may face in doing so.

A spouse/civil partner has the strongest rights. In many instances the rights of an unmarried partner (also known as a cohabitant), whether heterosexual or homosexual, will be quite different, and usually weaker, so if you are an unmarried partner, you should get legal advice specific to their own situation.

A spouse/civil partner and a unmarried partner may be eligible to contest a Will where no or insufficient reasonable financial provision was made for them in their deceased partner’s Will.
Several factors must be proved to be successful in challenging a Will. If the claim is successful, the court will order that a surviving spouse/civil partner or unmarried partner will take a share, or a larger share, of the deceased’s estate.

A court will examine the entire circumstances of the case such as the duration of the relationship, and the financial resources and needs of the surviving spouse/civil partner or unmarried partner.

In the future we will be covering the following topics:

What if I have been left out of the Will?

Written by Terry Johansson | 3rd July 2013

If you have not received a share, or an adequate share, of your spouse/civil partner/unmarried partner’s Estate in their Will, you may be able to commence legal proceedings and make a claim against the estate. Each State has its own laws, and generally  the laws of the State where the...

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What does ‘eligible claimant’ mean?

Written by Terry Johansson | 11th July 2013

For a person who was living with the deceased, an ‘eligible claimant’ is usually a: a)      Spouse/civil partner of the deceased; b)      A former spouse or civil partner of the deceased who has not remarried or entered into a new civil partnership; or c)       An unmarried partner. A spouse/civil partner...

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What if we had a pre-nuptial agreement? Does this mean anything?

Written by Terry Johansson | 14th July 2013

A pre-nuptial agreement will usually be upheld by the court, however the court does have an overriding power to vary any Award in the interests of justice and fairness. It is possible that the validity of your pre-nuptial agreement may be disputed by another claimant under the law. In this...

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What do I need to show to be successful in a family provision claim?

Written by Terry Johansson | 14th July 2013

You will need to be able to prove that your spouse/civil partner/unmarried partner failed to make reasonable financial provision for you in his/her Will. The way in which the courts decide this question vary between the States so this is a guide to the relevant  issues, not a statement of the law:...

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International Issues

More info on Wills
& Inheritance?

More info

LGBT RightsWhere do you stand?

More info

Making a Will

Find out what’s involved

More info

International Issues

More info on Wills
& Inheritance?

More info

LGBT RightsWhere do you stand?

More info

Making a Will

Find out what’s involved

More info