basically, my boyfriends sisters boyfriend has just passed away. We dont know if he left a will but he told someone that if he were to go he didnt want his ex wife to have anything and was going to write a will to make sure she didnt get a thing. He is catholic so had reasons for not divorcing and they had been separated for over 9 years as he had been seeing his girlfriend for 8 yrs. His family have cut his girlfriend out of everything blaming her for his death and his wife is now worried they will do the same thing to her as they blamed her for the breakdown in the marriage in the first place.this is in Scotland by the way. So assuming Scottish law would apply.
You asked your question and then appended a brief post-script indicating that it appears that any estate proceeding would be conducted in Scotland. Perhaps there is an attorney here who is familiar with Scottish law, or who is admitted to practice in Scotland, but my guess is that such an attorney is going to be somewhat hard to find on avvo.
I am a NY attorney and cannot advise you as to Scottish law. I can tell you that here in the United States, every state will regard as irrelevant the fact that the couple was separated. If the man was married, his wife would be entitled to at least a part of the estate, regardless of the decedent's reasons for not getting divorced.
Being divorced and NOT being divorced are not exactly the same thing. Probably under Scottish law, just as under the laws of every state in the United States, one cannot completely disinherit one's spouse.
At any rate, if you want to be sure, start looking for a Scottish lawyer.
Good luck to you.
Michael S. Haber is a New York attorney. As such, his responses to posted inquiries, such as the one above, are limited to his understanding of law in the jurisdiction in which he practices and not to any other jurisdiction. In addition, no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to constitute legal advice, nor to constitute the existence of an attorney/client or other contractual or fiduciary relationship, inasmuch as rendering legal advice involves the ability of the attorney to ask appropriate questions of the person seeking such advice and to thus gather appropriate information. In addition, an attorney/client relationship is formed only by specific agreement. The purpose of this answer is to provide the questioner with general information, not to outline specific legal rights and remedies.
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