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A surviving spouse can start or continue a family property claim
against the deceased spouse for family property rights. A deceased
spouse’s representative (e.g., executor or administrator) can
only continue their family property application against the
surviving spouse and cannot commence a claim. Family property
claims in the estate context are not limited to divorcing or
separating spouse; surviving spouses who were disinherited or left
substantially less than they need or would be entitled to under
The Family Property Act and The Dependants’ Relief
Act also have a right of action against the Estate. Deciding
to advance either of these claims requires a consideration of the
surviving spouse’s entitlement from the Estate compared to
The Family Property Act, and their needs going
For a more detailed discussion on the foregoing, please see
Paige’s blog posts: Estate Litigation: Family Property Rights
for the Living Spouse and Dependants’ Relief Legislation: What to do
when your inheritance from a deceased parent or spouse is
inadequate to meet your needs?
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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