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?
- What does ‘eligible claimant’ mean?
- Who is considered to be an ‘unmarried partner’?
- What do I need to show to be successful in a family provision claim?
- What if we had a pre-nuptial agreement? Does this mean anything?
- What happens if my spouse/civil partner and I have just separated? What if we have not finished dividing our assets in our divorce/separation?
- What if my spouse and I have been divorced/broken up for years – am I able to make a claim against my former spouse’s estate?