Will your answers be valid for New Zealand law. We have a staff member who's husband died during the shutdown. They have

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Customer: Will your answers be valid for New Zealand law
JA: What steps have been taken? Have any papers been filed in New Zealand family court?
Customer: No. We have a staff member who's husband died during the shutdown.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this yet?
Customer: they have been married for 25 years and she and her husband bought a house approx 25 years ago. It is a jointly owned family home. They also have a joint bank account. She has just found out her husband left a will that leaves half his property to his 2 children from a previous marriage No lawyer has been engaged yet. She is intimidated by these 2 people and I'm trying to direct her in the right directipn
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Thats about it as far as I can see
Answered by Chris The Lawyer in 16 hours 2 years ago
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Hi
I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington and will help you with your question today. Please give me a minute to read your question
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

This will depend on the type of ownership of the house. There are two ways of owning a house jointly which affect how this will should work. If the couple were tenants in common in equal shares then he can leave the half share to his children. In this case it would be usual to leave his widow a life interest in that share and on her death it passes to the children. If there isn’t a life interest that could be an issue. They could force her to sell up. But she could make a claim to say she should get a life interest but unless the children agree that would need to go to court.
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

The other way to own property jointly is as joint tenants. If the house is owned in this way then she gets his half share by survivorship and the children miss out but could make a claim against his estate.
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

She should therefore take the will to her own lawyer and get some advice on her options
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