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Contested Will after distribution

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  • Contested Will after distribution


    last year I was left a 5% share of an estate in a Will. I was named, alongside my ex-husband at the time, who also was named and left 5%. The will does not have any caveats that we must still be married at the time of death. Both of us are not related to the person who left the will although my ex-husband had the connection with the deceased and I was named purely because we were married at the time. When we divorced, the will was never amended to include his new wife. The will was written 14 years prior to the person passing away.

    At the time of being notified that I had been left this money, my ex-husband asked me to forego my 5%. I did not do this and he then tried to contest this with the executor (a solicitor in a law firm). The executor told my ex-husband that the will was water tight and the have since distributed and finalised the estate. My ex-husband has now engaged a lawyer and is threatening to take me to court to claim my 5%.

    Has anyone had experience with something like this before? I think that seeing the estate has been settled and distributed that the mater is finalised. Am I correct in thinking this to be true?

    Thanks for your help
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  • #2
    Hi Nineapples,
    From your post it seems that you have considered the variants such as whether there was any stipulation that the two of you should still be married. It appears that the executor had considered the possibilities hence their response. However without seeing the full Will it is of course difficult to be certain.

    Your ex can threaten as much as he wants but if the wording of the Will is solid and can't be interpreted in another way then he won't get very far. The fact the estate has been 'settled and distributed' doesn't prevent a claim being forthcoming but whether any claim would be successful is another thing entirely.

    If you receive a claim then speak to the executor solicitors but I suspect as soon as your ex seeks legal advice he will be told it isn't worth chasing if the Will was drafted correctly and as per the deceased's instructions.
    I am a qualified solicitor and am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

    If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.


    • #3
      Short answer - On the facts you describe - he can only sue the estate, which is a separate (legal) person, but as the estate has no money, the only right of action might be against the executor, on the ground that he improperly gave you your legacy. I do not think that he has any right of action against you.


      • #4
        Thank you Peridot and Efpom, I really do appreciate both of your answers.


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