Can any legal experts give me some advice on the following scenario? Many thanks.
A woman in her forties, single, no DC, owned own home had written a Will leaving everything to her parents and brother. This woman then met someone who moved into her home and they married shortly after. Three years later, the marriage failed. Would the husband have a case for claiming some of the house, even if he hadn't contributed to the mortgage, was not named on the title deeds or mortgage and was not a beneficiary in the earlier Will?
Would be very grateful for your advice, which is for a dear friend of mine.
Yes if you get married then any will made prior to that date is null and void, unless it specifically states that it's "in contemplation of marriage" i.e. you state in the will that you are about to get married to Mr X and you wish your will to remain unchanged.
do you mean that the woman has died? i think the husband would get everything unless another will was written after marriage. but if she hasnt died (sorry, just the use of present tense in your last post) then she can write a will now.
Marriage invalidates previous wills, and if you don't write a new one, the usual intestacy laws apply which mean that most of your assets go to your spouse (even if you have split up but are not yet legally divorced).
But as long as she is in England or Wales, she can write a will which leaves nothing to her husband (rules in Scotland are a little different, I think).
If I was writing her will I would put in a declaration that she is separated and is expressly excluding her husband from it, in order to avoid him claiming under the Inheritance (provision for family and dependants) Act 1975, or at least to mitigate the risk of him doing so.
With my ex divorce lawyer hat on, she needs to see a family specialist as soon as possible as he may well have acquired rights under the MCA 1973.