Ex Wife & Son's rights to deceased husband's estate

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AnnieO | 19:53 Thu 13th Sep 2007 | Family
6 Answers
I was divorced form my husband in 1996 due to his unfaithfulness after 24 years of marriage, and I (without taking any legal advice - which was stupid) paid him half of everything we jointly owned at the time. i.e half the house, half the value of the jointly owned endowment policy and half the value of our savings account. I have since bitterly resented doing this, as during our entire marriage, all the money I earned went back into the family ( we had one son)- I paid for almost everything while he gambled, drank and generally had a great old time. This caused me to have to re-mortgage and continue working while he was able to retire at 47! He remarried and owned a large house in this country, a villa in Spain, and a static caravan on the coast and perhaps other valuables that I don't know about.
He has recently died and I would like to know if I have any rights to reclaim any of this money ( I suspect not) but more importantly what rights my son (now aged 33)would have to any of this money - it annoys me that just a few years after making this large settlement to him, his current wife will get all the benefit of it. Is my son entitled to any of it and is he entitled to any part of the company pension his father was receiving? My son has a daughter of his own, and he and his partner struggle financially & I help out when I can , but a decent settlement to them would make all the difference to their lives, which is why I want to make sure he fights for his entitlements. Thank you for your help.


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I know nothing about pensions, but as far as I'm aware, yes, your son, as his next of kin, is entitled to inherit at least part of his estate.

CAB or an initial meeting with a solicitor ought to be his first step.
I suspect that unless you ex made another Will after remarrying in which he nominates your son as a beneficiary, he may not necessarily be entitled to anything as he is a grown adult and no longer financially dependent on his father. If he belonged to a company pension scheme, with or without death benefits, your ex would probably have to have nominated a beneficiary which would almost certainly be his current wife although death benefits are usually at the discretion of the pension fund trustees and if you knew which scheme it is, you could contact them. A solicitor would be better able to advise you but I suspect that you may be disappointed in that neither of you are entitled to anything.
the son would not be the next of kin, the wife would be surely/?
anywya did your ex leave a will?
I cant see how yu would be able to get any money back because its not like its a short time ago you paid him the money - 11 years ago!
did yur son have any relayionship with his dad - if so he might be named in the will if there is one, if not it seems a bit churlish to nt have anything to do with someone when they are alive but then to want a share of their money when they're dead
I agree with Wendy & bednobs.

Your ex husbands present wife is his next of kin ~ and your son is not automatically entitled to any of his father's estate as he is over the age of majority.

Your son may wish to make a claim, but there is a big chance he won't be successful.

If I were you I would let it go. After all, you did divorce him. I divorced my ex husband and also lost out in the financial settlement. However I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to claim any of his money ~ as far as I am concerned his responsibility towards me, and mine towards him, ended the day we divorced.

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Thanks all, I'm aware that in England the wife is the next of kin ( we are actually Scottish, but live in England. In Scotlish law you cannot disinherit your children without a court order). In answer to the various questions..... my son had a very good relationship with his dad, though the time they were able to spend together was tempered by the demands of the 2nd wife, much to my son's frustration. We don't know yet if there is a will, but as he had been diagnosed as terminally ill, he would have had time to 'put his affairs in order' as they say. My son gave a heart warming eulogy at his funeral, and I hope his dad (who frequently let him down in life) has done the decent thing in death. However my concern is that I doubt his wife would have allowed it, and just wondered if he actually had any rights under English law. I suspect we wait to hear if there is a will and depending on whether there is and what the content is, then perhaps some guidance from a solicitor would be useful. Thanks.
My father died without a will he had remarried 5 months earlier.
In English law I believe that if your son is not a dependent there is little chance of a claim.
I contested the will but the wife was entitled to the first �XXXXXX - cant remember the amount- of the estate. The house had been put into joint names so that was hers and the remaining assets were below the allowed amount - although he was a wealthy man 2nd wife had put loads in joint name. In the end she gave me �500 to stop the case so she could get her hands on the money.When a will is contested no assets can be touched.
It all seemed unfair he was a weak man in the hands of a woman who kept me at ams length I sure for her gain.

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