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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7618
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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My wife and i divorced five years ago. We agreed a settlement

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My wife and i divorced five years ago. We agreed a settlement lump sum.

We are now reconcilled and she is moving back into my house to live with me.

What "new" legal rights if any, does she or her dependents have to any of my estate if she has not contributed towards the house or the maintenance of it. I have a will in place.



Thanks for your question.

If the Will directs that your estate should pass to other persons then your estate will be adminstered in accordance with that Will. A person who has not been provided for in the Will of another may make a claim on the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependent) Act 1976 if they were immediately before the death of the person financially dependent upon that that person.


You must make the application within 6 months of the date of the grant of probate in the estate. The Court will consider what is a "reasonable financial provision" for you and will take a number of factors in to account in determining what is fair (eg. size of the estate, other claims, resources and needs of other family members/dependants, responsibilities the deceased had to you), each case turns on it's own facts and there are no hard and fast rules to work out what you are entitled to.


If you ex-wife is financially dependent upon you immediately before you death then she could concevably make some claim on your estate.


If you wish to negate the liklihood of a successful claim by your ex-wife then you may consider making a new Will that is substantially the same save for a small provision made in favour of your wife. This will suggest that you did in fact consider her as part of how you wished your estate to be divided upon your death.



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