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Mid divorce death

(8 Posts)
Imperial Mon 22-Dec-14 23:15:08

Not sure if anyone can help with this complicated situation.DB's decree nisi date set for after Christmas but he sadly passed away unexpectedly last week. His estranged wife has now waltzed back in and is shutting us out of funeral arrangements which is so painful for us all.

I accept that in the eyes of the law she is still technically his wife but today I was told that unless she retracts the divorce papers fast she may not actually be treated as his widow as far as his estate goes but instead would be entitled to that which she was going to get from the divorce.

There is a quite substantial estate so does anyone know if there is any truth in this or how I would find out if she has done this?

Apologies for the garbled post I am exhausted and struggling to cope right now.

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Mon 22-Dec-14 23:16:58

Did he draw up a new will post separation? If I remember correctly this is all that matters.

I'm so sorry to read of your loss by the way sad thanks

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Mon 22-Dec-14 23:24:16

Lots of info here if this helps www.womansdivorce.com/divorce-death.html Would be useful to know whether he updated his will though.

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Mon 22-Dec-14 23:25:15

Sorry, ignore the link. Google doesn't seem to think "UK law" is any different to "US law" hmm

Imperial Mon 22-Dec-14 23:35:50

Sadly no updated will that we know of - she is the executor of his will and we haven't even seen it but I assume it just leaves everything to her and the death in service benefit just mentions 'the spouse'.
I suspect we have no claim on anything at all and it is genuinely not really about the money, that won't bring him back but I know he would be very very unhappy to know how much she is benefitting from his death and the way she is treating his family. It just seems so unfair that the divorce was so close and yet after treating him so badly and being the one to file for divorce she now gets to pretend to be the grief stricken (rich) widow.

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Mon 22-Dec-14 23:44:09

Oh dear sad

This link is useful, although it's not good news www.hague-dixon.co.uk/files/Divorce.pdf

I'd look on here ASAP. It's possible that he didn't update the will, but it needs checking. www.gov.uk/search-will-probate They will have a copy of any new will or of the old one so you can see it yourself. It's worthwhile seeing who witnessed the will, if it was her then this raises major issues with the will.

It is possible to contest a will, but it's not cheap to do and the solicitors fees could take up all of the estate and there's no guarantee that the court will find in your families favour.

Imperial Tue 23-Dec-14 08:59:18

Thank you for your help - much appreciated

FlowerFairy2014 Sat 27-Dec-14 17:37:25

They are still married. I'm afraid the original will applies which is why when starting divorce p4roceedings lawyers often do say think of the wills and also consider taking life insurance out against the other person.
He might have put work life insurance policies into trust for his chidlren not his wife although his wife is probably the trustee to manage that.

The fact his parents and siblings are not in the will does not help as they are not being supported by him at death so they would have no claim under legislation for those depending on someone financially who dies.

I really don't think English law would treat her as divorced in any sense at all as there is no decree absolute. You are not divorced under then but worth taking some legal advice from a solicitor over it.

Very sorry to hear about your brother. One friend of mine said his wife dying of cancer was so worried he would take the children out of private schools she left half her estate and half the house to her children with her mother and sister managing her half to pay school fees for the children. That was a couple who were not even divorcing - just with the wife sadly dying. The husband took it in very good part.

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