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Thin Lizzy star's estate passes under intestacy rules

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It has been reported this week that Gary Moore, guitarist with the legendary Irish rock band Thin Lizzy, who died in February 2011, ended up leaving nothing to his long term partner Petra Nioduschewski, as he did not make a Will.

His estate is thought to be worth over £2m after liabilities, including his house in Hove where he had lived with his partner. However, as they had never married, his estate passes under the rules of intestacy, which mean that all of his estate will pass to his four children.

What has not been reported is whether or not Petra will be bringing a claim against his estate. Whilst the intestacy rules do not make provision for partners and cohabitees, it is still possible to bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 in circumstances like this. Providing that the couple had lived together as ‘man and wife’ for at least two years before he died, Petra may have a claim against his estate for reasonable financial provision.

To bring a claim under this Act, you must start your case in Court within 6 months of the Grant of Probate for the estate being issued by the Probate Registry, or you may lose your right to do so. You therefore have to act quickly if you think that this may apply to you.

As a solicitor specialising in Inheritance Disputes, and also as a registered member of the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS), I deal with many of these cases on a regular basis.  Anyone facing this kind of inheritance dispute with their family members, or wishing to contest a will for any other reason, should always seek specialist legal advice at the earliest opportunity.  

By contentious probate expert and Associate solicitor Heather Korwin-Szymanowska

For a fixed fee of £49.95, you can have a 30 minute appointment with Heather or another solicitor who specialises in your kind of case. The appointment can be either on the telephone, or face to face, depending on your preference. We will take some details from you before the appointment, and then the solicitor will discuss your case with you, and what your options are. If your case is something that we can then help you further with, we can then discuss your funding options with you.