Does the divorced spouse have any rights to the former spouse’s inheritance?
Unlike in the case of separation (for which partially different rules apply, influenced also by the possible existence of the debit), divorce eliminates any inheritance rights of the ex, who is no longer an heir by law of the deceased. In such a case, only the contrary expressed in the will and not detrimental to the rights of the legatees remains unaffected.
Such an assumption is in no way affected, either positively or negatively, by the exixtsnce of any possible debit.
However, if the economic conditions of the deceased’s former spouse are particularly difficult, the latter may apply to the court to have a periodical maintenance allowance, of a welfare nature, granted to him/her and to be charged to the estate.
The granting of this allowance is, however, subject not only to the actual state of need, to be understood as the lack of the economic resources necessary to satisfy essential or primary needs, but also to the existence of a further prerequisite: the deceased’s entitlement to a divorce allowance while still alive.
This circumstance must be distinguished from that in which the deceased’s pecuniary obligations towards his ex had been satisfied by the latter, while he was alive, by means of a one-off payment: in such a case the survivor in a state of need does not meet the conditions required for the court to recognise his right to maintenance from the estate.
The same applies if theformer spouse is awarded part of the survivor’s allowance.