‘My husband died and now his siblings are asking for his inheritance from 10 years ago.’

For some, an inheritance isn't just a source of income – it's guaranteed security for a comfortable future.

But with an inheritance can come added pressure and, in some cases, a lot of drama. 

Watch: 5 money lessons your parents told you, that you should probably forget... Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

That was the case for Adi, who asked for help on Quora – not about her own inheritance, but that of her late husband.

"My husband died 20 months ago and now his siblings are demanding for me to return what he inherited from his father 10 years ago. Can they legally do that?" she asked on the question-and-answer website. 

Adi revealed she and her late husband had started a family together before his death and he had left everything in his will to his wife and children.

The bizarre situation was rationalised by many who argued it was absolutely in her in-laws' right to demand the inheritance left behind by her late husband's own father – as it is Adi's right to impolitely refuse them. 

"Ultimately, it doesn’t matter much how you blow them off, as long as you do," one person wrote. "Bottom line, whatever your husband inherited became his property, and if it became your joint property as his wife or you inherited it from him when he died, it's now your sole property."

Others argued an inheritance technically does belong to the brothers and sisters of the deceased – which was quickly refuted.

"I am not understanding the logic of some that say it does not belong to this widow and her children. If it is an heirloom, and it was passed down to her husband and then his heirs, his own children [then that is perfectly acceptable]," one person wrote. "The children are still family, the grandchildren of the deceased father-in-law."


"How come, since the widow’s husband had passed away, it should go to the surviving aunts and uncles of her children? If that is how it is supposed to work, then the siblings and deceased husband would not have inherited such items from their own father 10 years ago in the first place," another rationalised.

"It should have gone to their surviving aunts and uncles instead. I don’t think this is a game of the last survivor wins it all!"

Another commenter mentioned that if the situation was playing out in the UK, the family members "wouldn't have a leg to stand on" legally.

"Your husband inherited it from his father. At that point, it became the property of your husband. When your husband died, if his will left it to you, it became your property," they said. "Even if your husband died intestate (without a will), as the wife, you are first in line for inheritance, so it would be your property and nobody else would have a claim."

In Australia, when someone dies, everything left behind becomes a "deceased estate" and their assets can be passed on to family, friends and organisations.

And if there is a will, and someone believes they are entitled to an inheritance... but is not included in the will... then they can legally challenge the inheritance under the Succession Act under a Public Family Provision claim. 

Of course, they might lose – as no one (not even the beneficiary listed) is entitled to an inheritance.

"You need to establish the financial connection and how you are being deprived because the deceased died, and no adequate provisions are being provided to you under the Will," solicitor Florant Abad told SBS Australia.

"There is no hard and fast rule, but the Supreme Court will take into account the circumstance surrounding your claim."

Feature Image: Getty.

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