Spousal Inheritance Rights
The passing of your spouse can be a traumatic and life-altering event, one that can be made all the more difficult if uncertainties or confusion arise around your inheritance rights after your spouse has died.
Although your inheritance rights may be the last thing on your mind after losing your partner, it is nevertheless important to know what the law says about this so that you can steer clear of any unnecessary anxiety or concerns during this painful period.
After your partner has died, your share of their inheritance (assuming that you have not renounced or given up your rights to it) will be dependent on two factors:
1. Whether a valid will exists
2. AND, whether your deceased spouse has children
If there is no will or the will is deemed invalid, and if your deceased spouse had no children or grandchildren at the time of their passing, you are then entitled to the entirety of your spouse’s estate.
In the event that there is no will or the will is invalid, but your deceased partner did have children or grandchildren, then you will be entitled to two-thirds of their estate.
This will decrease to half of the estate if a valid will exists, but your spouse had no children or grandchildren. However, if it is outlined in the will that more than half of your spouse’s estate is to be left in your possession, then the terms of the will shall be accepted.
Your portion of the estate will further decrease to one-third if there is a valid will, and if your spouse has children or grandchildren. Again, you may be entitled to more than one-third of the state if this is specified in the will.
In certain circumstances, the surviving spouse may not be entitled to a share of their deceased partner’s inheritance, such as if they were legally separated or divorced. In most cases, as part of the terms of a divorce of legal separation, the spouse would renounce their right to an inheritance upon their former partner’s passing.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.*