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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 23068
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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Here is the situation. A couple had been living in a DE

Customer Question

Here is the situation. A couple had been living in a DE facto relationship for over 20 years. The man who was the original owner of the property died and left in his will a provision that the woman could live in the house till her death. She is advised that she has no right to her half of the property. Is this correct? Does she have a claim to half bearing in mind the length of the relationship?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: It is in new zealand
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I'm not sure I understand what you mean
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 9 months ago.

If she has been left an interest in the property this is called a life interest. But you could if she wanted go further and make a claim under the Property Relationships Act for 1/2 share of the property. These claims need to be made fairly quickly after someone dies, and there is a time limit for making the claim of 12 months from the date probate is granted for the will. But she definitely does have a claim, and will need to see a lawyer to make that claim if she wants to. The law is quite clear and I do not know why she has been told she cannot claim. That is not correct.