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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22617
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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My friends wife died unexpectedly whilst on holiday and she

Customer Question

My friends wife died unexpectedly whilst on holiday and she left a will where she has left practically everything to her sisters they had been married 40 yrs and jointly owned a property and my friend has been told that he can only stay in it if he pays all the bills including those incontext with the funeral arrangements as well can he contest this will please. thank you Sonya
JA: Since estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: this is in the South Island of NZ
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: in what way do you mean he went to the lawyer that dealt with both their wills to ask what he could do but the man there said he couldnt do anything
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Just want to know where he stands with having the same lawyer dealing with the will as he has and if there is anyway he can contest it please
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 5 months ago.

This depends very much on the way in which the ownership of the house was structured. If they owned the property as tenants in common in equal shares, it would be possible for his wife to leave her share to someone else, and in that case the property may need to be sold. If however the property is owned as a joint tenancy, then he will inherit the property by survivorship. If he thinks the will is unfair, then he can make a claim possibly under the Property Relationships Act or the Family Protection Act. He will however need to instruct his own lawyer, to make these claims. The lawyer who made the wills cannot act for him in this matter. The lawyer can handle the estate, but it will need to be his wife's sister who defends any application.

A further possibility is that he has been left a life interest in his wife's share of the property. That will permit him to stay on the property for the rest of his life. But he can still challenge this

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
thank you for that information It was appreciated . I will definitely use you again
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 5 months ago.

Thank you for using this

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