27 November 2020 by Yoanna Gospodinova

George Michael’s former partner is suing his estate

It is nearly four years since the tragic death of George Michael on Christmas Day 2016, yet the dispute surrounding his 2013 will rages on.

The late singer’s estate is estimated to be worth £97.6 million.

According to his last will, George’s estate was split unequally between his two sisters (one of whom sadly passed away last Christmas), his father and some chosen friends and relatives, excluding his former partners, Kenny Goss and Fadi Fawaz.

We previously reported on Fadi’s claim against George’s estate here. It has now been reported that Kenny has also brought a claim against George’s estate.

Kenny’s claim is for ‘reasonable financial provision’ under The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

It is understood that Kenny is seeking the sum of £15,000 per month, for life, from the estate.

Kenny and George were in a relationship from 1996 to 2011.

Kenny says that he was financially reliant on George during their relationship. Crucially to his claim, Kenny says that he was also dependent on George even after they split, and up and until George’s death on 25th December 2016.

Kenny says that he gave up his own career to focus on his relationship with George.

Under the 1975 Act, a person who was financially dependent on the deceased is entitled to bring a claim against the deceased’s estate.

If Kenny is successful in his claim, the court has wide discretion as to the order it can make. For example, it may grant Kenny a monthly maintenance payment, a one off lump sum payment, or the transfer of a property to Kenny.

There are a number of considerations the court will take into account when making a decision such as the financial input George provided to Kenny, and the fact Kenny gave up his own career to focus on George.

Kenny will need to demonstrate that he was financially maintained by George immediately before his death.

It is reported that Kenny has also questioned whether the singer was of sound mind at the time when he made the will, although it is not clear if Kenny is formally contesting the will on the basis that George lacked mental capacity to make it..

If it was found that George did lack mental capacity to make the will, then this would be invalid and any earlier will would replace it as George’s ‘last will’.

If there is no earlier will the intestacy rules would apply to the estate.

Therefore, in order to make a claim against the will worthwhile, Kenny would need to be a beneficiary of the previous will.

We have a specialist team of contentious probate solicitors who are experienced in dealing with claims for family and dependants under the 1975 Act, as well as claims challenging wills.

Please do get in touch with us immediately if you think you may have a claim under the 1975 Act as a strict time limit applies.

For more information on this area of law, please contact one of our disputed wills and trusts lawyers on 020 7288 4700 or at cp@boltburdon.co.uk.

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