Man Loses Inheritance From Wife After Living With a Woman Following Her Death

A man has been ordered to hand over all of the assets he inherited from his late wife after a court ruled that he broke the stipulations of her will by living with another woman following her death.

The man, from the city of A Coruña in the northwest of Spain, signed a will with his wife in 1975 that stated he wouldn't be entitled to her inheritance if after she died he married another woman or engaged in "coexistence," a stable relationship similar to a marriage.

Although the man started living with another woman from the late eighties, he didn't marry her, according to El Pais. His wife died in 1996, and he was not living with her at that time.

After discovering the man's living arrangements, the sister of his late wife took legal action in the Provincial Court of A Coruña, claiming that he had broken the rules of the will by living with another partner for a sustained period of time, a set-up that equated to a marriage in practice.

Following years of legal battles, the court ruled in favour of the former wife's sister, forcing the man to hand over all of his assets from the will to his sister-in-law and her other siblings.

The judge said in the ruling that the relationship between the man and his second partner constituted something similar to marriage and claimed that the pair's feelings went "beyond the affection linked to friendship or kin."

The man had told the court that he and the second woman were cousins, a claim that the court wasn't able to verify, but he wrote in an obituary for her after she died in 2016 that he was her "husband."

He also buried his second partner in a grave described as "family property," with the tombstone engraved: "Memory of your husband, daughters and grandchildren."

The man claimed to the court that he described himself as the woman's husband in her obituary because "it seemed very cold to him to put a cousin and that the closest thing to the deceased that occurred to him was a husband," according to court documents.

However, the judge said that the appearance of the pair being married was "also corroborated by the witnesses who testified at the request of the plaintiff."

The siblings of the man's wife will now be entitled to split the inheritance between them. El Pais also reported that the man can appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Newsweek has contacted the Provincial Court of A Coruña for comment.

Man ordered to hand over assets
Last will and testament with gavel. A man has been ordered to hand over all of the assets he inherited from his wife when she died in 1995 after a court ruled that he broke the stipulations of her will by living with another woman for 20 years. JJ Gouin/iStock / Getty Images Plus