Advice please

Information and questions about the Law in Spain and Andalucia.
lizzie
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Advice please

Postby lizzie » Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:14 am

Friends, who have lived together for nearly 20 years, but never married,are in the middle of an acrimonious split up. He is planning to marry his new "love interest" and just leave his former partner to sink or swim. However they have 2 properties in joint names and the abandoned lady is fearful that the new woman in his life would have rights over them if anything happens to him.She is going to stay in one as long as she wants under their present agreement. They have never made Spanish wills but some while ago did write out their wishes naming each other as beneficiaries. There are 4 children involved, 2 hers ,1 his and 1 theirs. She did approach a solicitor but was asked for a lot of money for advice so did not persue it. Can anyone with experience of a similar situation offer any advice please ?

lizzie
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Re: Advice please

Postby lizzie » Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:26 am

Some helpful information in the threads about wills, but some more help would be appreciated if anyone has any ideas.

Jool
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Re: Advice please

Postby Jool » Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:55 pm

She should contact another sollicitor and negotiate on te fees! This is a complicated matter - letters stating your wishes unless registered with a notary, have no legal validity and even then it if it not a proper spanish will then standard inheritance procedure will apply...........so the property will go to the children.

Unless your friend has done a pareja de hecha document in Andalucia she has very few actual legal rights but she needs proper legal advice and a good solicitor to sort everything out.......if her ex marries his new woman or does a pdh then the number 2 lady will have rights.........I believe they can do a proper contract stating one party has one house and one the other as that seems to me to be the only clean solution, but it could easily involve property taxes. Its a mess and one that needs sorting now or when her ex (or she) dies.........so it has to be done some time, there is no way around it.

I know of 2 women who were in this position and living in Andalucia, one married who was protected in law, the other was live in partner and she was made homeless by her partner´s children when he died.........and she was in her 60´s, so it is not an issue to trifle with, there was zero protection for her.

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Julie
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Re: Advice please

Postby Julie » Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:36 am

If the houses are in joint names, then I would imagine that her halfs are safe and the properties couldn't be sold without her agreement, Jool has given you good advice, a solicitor is a must if she needs to know for sure, is there a law school her as in the UK that gives free advice, maybe someone would know, or even a trip to the notary maybe they would advice for less money.
No soporto ver la casa sucia, ahora mismo me levanto y apago la luz.

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DavidSearl
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Re: Advice please

Postby DavidSearl » Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:49 pm

For Lizzie from David Searl,

The advice from several posters is sound. You need a lawyer to defend your interests here.

1. The new partner does not acquire any legal rights simply by becoming the new partner. If she becomes a wife, the only right she acquires is the right to continue to inhabit her deceased husband's property as a usufructee, while the bare property rights pass to the husband's children. Unless the husband has made a will leaving her his half of the two properties, which is his right under English law.

2. This would then leave you and her as co-owners of two properties, a messy situation.

3. If you have little money and a low income, under about 15,000 euros a year,you can apply for legal aid. Go to the court of your judicial district where you will find that the "Colegio de Abogados" has an office where you can apply for "Asistencia Juridica Gratuita", free legal aid. The forms are complicated and you may need help if your Spanish is not good. The fact that you own half of two properties will work against you here as you are pleading poverty, but it is worth a try. If not, ask around to find a recommended divorce lawyer.(If you are anywhere near Fuengirola, you could try my sponsors, Ubeda-Retana and Associates, where Deepa Nandwani has handled many divorce cases)

4. The dissolution of your partnership will be treated in Spanish law basically as if it were a marriage ending in divorce. You do not have to be a resident for this.

If you have devoted the past 20 years to caring for your partner and raising his children and your children, you can apply for alimony to support you.

If the children are not yet of legal age, you can apply for custody and child support payments, ordered by the court.

5. Where property is owned by two or more owners, any one of these owners can ask the court to rule that the property be sold at auction and the proceeds divided among the owners. You will have to give compelling reasons for this, such as a need for the money to live on.

6. A simple written declaration of your wishes will not suffice. You need to make a proper Spanish will. If you do not, your two children will inherit your halves.

Good luck with it, David Searl
You and the Law in Spain

lizzie
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Re: Advice please

Postby lizzie » Sat Sep 12, 2009 7:35 pm

Many thanks for all the help and advice.


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