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Widow betrayed in Will, a love story gone sour

by | Oct 19, 2021 | Case Studies, News, Probate and Wills | 0 comments

Julia and Martin met in 2005 while on a singles group skiing trip to Chamonix in France. They were initially friends only but love subsequently blossomed. The pair eventually married in 2010. Julia and Martin each owned their own houses and had their own careers. They did not have any children but were very happily married.

In January 2015 Martin and Julia went skiing in Val d’Isere. Martin was skiing in perfect conditions on a blue slope when he hit a rock and badly injury himself. He was airlifted to Lyon but was left paralysed. He recovered enough to come home. Julia continued to work and look after Martin. As time went on Martin’s condition deteriorated. Martin’s personality changed due in large part to his injuries. He became withdrawn and concerned only about his own wellbeing. Martin’s parents, whom Julia had never been close to, insisted Julia give up her job and look after their son. Julia did not want to give up the one thing in her life that made her feel happy. As Martin’s condition deteriorated the marriage deteriorated and his parents’ interference did not help matters.

In 2019 Martin passed away. Shortly after his death Julia was informed that Martin had made a Will and left everything that he owned to his Parents. Julia was deeply saddened and felt betrayed.

Julia attended her solicitor’s office to discuss the matter she was very upset and distressed over everything that had transpired. Julia was advised that because they were married and there was a Will, she was entitled to one third interest in Martin’s estate. This is a long-established provision in Irish law and was introduced by the Succession Act 1964 as a protection for spouses.

Julia, with professional legal assistance wrote to the solicitor for Martin’s estate pointing out her rights. The reply received was that Martin’s parents had lent Martin a considerable sum of money during his long illness and were entitled to have this debt repaid before any calculation of the one-half share Julia was entitled to. Eventually, Julia was forced to apply to court to enforce her right as a surviving spouse. The matter was settled between the legal teams instructed by Julia and Martin’s parents in the Four Courts on a cold January morning.

Julia walking down the cold and blustery Dublin quays of that January morning reflected over her ordeal. She felt animosity for Martin’s parents and the ordeal they had put her through in blocking her legal entitlement to her interest in Martin’s estate. She reflected on how her only connection to Martin was now gone because of the fractured relationship she now had with his parents. By the time she reached O’Connell Street to board her bus home a sense of relief washed over her that today had brough closure to this chapter in her life.

As is the appropriate in probate cases of this nature both sets of legal coats were paid by the estate. The legal costs were significant. This expense reduced the sum inherited by Julia and Martin’s parents.

If you have a concern about inheiritance why not contact us.

Please note for privacy and GDPR reasons names and circumstances have been changed to protect the identity of the individuals involved.

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