The president of France has one. President John F Kennedy had
Marilyn Monroe. King Henry VIII had loads. Prince Charles had one.
Even the bearded Father of Australian Federation Henry Parkes had
We are talking mistresses. While these aforementioned gentlemen
had their own way of handling things once their relationship with
mistress or wife concluded be it beheadings, divorce or jumping
ship, for most folk such things can get very complicated.
Let's take the example of who gets a man's estate if he
dies while having both a wife and a mistress. If the man dies
without leaving a will and his relationship with the mistress was
longer than two years, then the question of who is entitled to a
share of the estate falls under Sections 123 and 125 of the NSW
Succession Act 2006.
Legally, the man is deemed to have had two spouses. The law
requires both spouses to reach a written agreement on the
distribution of the whole of the deceased's estate. The law
does not include a provision for any children of either wife or
mistress. Even if the wife didn't know about the mistress,
provided the relationship lasted more than two years the law sees
them both as spouses who will inherit everything between them.
Negotiations in these situations can be very interesting to say
the least. If the parties can't reach agreement on their own,
then the case will end in court where a judge will impose a
decision. The judge may take into consideration who is more
deserving of the lion's share. That might be influenced by
whether there are dependent children involved. If the man had a
child with the mistress, and if the children he had with his wife
are adult or not so dependent, then the judge may award the
mistress the bulk of the estate to care for the child.
If there is a will and it leaves everything to the wife, the
mistress still has a right to bring a claim. She would most likely
receive something from the estate, especially if there is a child
or she had been dependent on the deceased man. Under the law the
judge has wide powers to consider the circumstances of both wife
and mistress such as the husband's moral obligations and
whether there is enough in the estate to go around.
For anyone in this complicated and unfortunate position it would
be wise to get good legal advice.
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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If you are doing a Will, or you are the executor of a deceased estate, consider what taxes and duties could be payable.
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