Settlement reached in George Michael’s estate
Last month, it was reported that George Michael’s former partner Kenny Goss is set to receive a share of his £97million estate. George Michael sadly died on 25th December 2016 and the dispute surrounding his 2013 Will now seems to have been cncluded this year.
Within his last Will, George’s estate was divided between his father, two sisters and some chosen friends and relatives. It specifically did not include his former partners, Kenny Goss or Fadi Fawaz.
Despite not being included in George’s Will in 2013, Kenny Goss made a claim on the estate for ‘reasonable financial provision’ under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
It was reported that Kenny was seeking the sum of £15,000 per month, for life. Despite the breakdown of their 15-year relationship in 2011, Kenny’s main claim was that he was still dependent on George up until his death in 2016. The ongoing financial maintenance was crucial in his ability to bring a claim under the Act. Despite them not being in a relationship, Kenny would have had to demonstrate that he was financially maintained by George immediately before his death.
As a result of this, it appears that an undisclosed financial settlement has now been reached with Kenny Goss and the Trustees of the estate, details of such are to be kept confidential.
This may lead you to question whether any individual can make a claim or dispute your Last Will and Testament. This is not the case; however, it is very important to familiarise yourself with the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
This specific Act enables individuals to make a claim in a deceased’s estate who have been left out of a Will or the rule of intestacy (where there is no Will) fails to make reasonable financial provision for that person.
Firstly, there is a limited group of individuals who can bring a claim under this Act, which are as follows:
- A spouse or civil partner;
- A former spouse or civil partner;
- A child of the deceased (including adult children);
- Any person who was treated as a child of the deceased;
- Any person who was being maintained by the deceased immediately prior to the deceased’s death; and
- A cohabitee of the deceased.
A person being maintained is if they were financially supported, either directly or indirectly. Examples can be regular gifts or payments of money. This is most likely to be the basis of Kenny Goss’s claim, that he was being ‘financially maintained’ by George Michael immediately prior to his death. Alternatively, indirectly supported would be allowing an individual to live in your property without having to contribute.
If the claim is substantial and reaches the Court stage, it is then for the Court to take everything into consideration. It will mainly look to see whether the Will or intestacy makes reasonable financial provision for the applicant. If not, the Court will consider awarding further provisions from the estate and if so, what type of provision. Such as a lump sum payment or regular maintenance payments to the applicant.
It is important to note that most cases are settled without any need for Court proceedings and settlements are reached through Alternative Dispute Resolution, such as mediation.
If this may be a concern or issue regarding your current Will, then please do give our Private Client team a call at the Colchester office on 01206 577676 or our Dunmow office on 01371 873277. Any email enquiries can be sent to [email protected].
Our team want to reassure you that all our meetings are private and confidential and if this is a matter you would need to discuss, then our specialist team are able to advise and assist you.