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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35057
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I am the contingent beneficiary named in a will, my wife is

Customer Question

i am the contingent beneficiary named in a will, my wife is the main beneficiary, my son from an earlier marriage is the third beneficiary.
my wife and i recently parted, but we are still married. i have been told that as it is an inheritance, then it is not classed as part of the matrimonial pot, and i have no legal claim to part of it.
it is quite clear that the deceased wanted his estate to be left to my wife, and he presumed that we would share and enjoy his estate, otherwise he wouldn't have named me as contingent beneficiary. if he had outlived us both on his death, my son would have received the estate, clearly he wanted his estate to stay in our family. there weren't any other named beneficiaries..
my wife has left the marital home, which we jointly own, and we have a £90,000 mortgage, which i have always paid, and am still paying, along with other payments i.e. rates etc.
she has bought a luxury apartment for £250,000 cash, from the proceeds of the inheritance. she says she wants the house sold, so she can have her 1/2 of the value after the mortgage is paid.
this will leave me with about £50,000, and no where to live, whilst she will have a nice life in her new apartment, along with another £200,000 from the inheritance.
by the way, i am 68 and retired, and my wife is 57, we have been together for 35 yrs.
please can you advise.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
When did she receive this inheritance and when did you actually separate?
How much does a one bedroom property in a reasonable area cost to buy?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Q1; we are not legally separated. she was arrested for common assault in february, and was given a restraining order, and never came back.
the deceased died in october last year, but probate has just been finalised, she has had some money from the estate and is about to receive the full amount.
Q2; 1 bed houses are few and far between, a 2 bed would be in the region of £150 to 200 grand, which is about the value of the matrimonial home where i am living at the moment
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Although you have no automatic right to a half share of the Inheritance the fact that your wife has these funds available to her will be taken into account by the Family Court when it comes to dividing the family assets.
This is nothing to do with the intention of the deceased - that is not relevant.
This is about the needs of each party.
The court does try and "ring fence " inheritance money - but only where there are sufficient other assets to meet the reasonable needs of the other spouse
From what you have said your ex now has assets of £450,000, whilst the equity in the matrimonial home is £100,000
Whilst I am not certain that the court will award you the full equity a share which is larger than 50% to help you meet your housing needs is possible - with an 80/20 split in your favour (or even 90/10) at least possible
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details