Linkin Park frontman, Chester Bennington, sadly died in 2017, leaving a large estate.
He left a Will, making it clear that his estate would be divided between his six children and his wife, Talinda Bennington.
Chester Bennington Will dispute
Chester was married to his ex-wife, Samantha Olit from 1996 to 2005 and they had one son together. Samantha was unhappy that she had not received anything from Chester’s estate and, as such, proceeded to make a claim against the estate. It was reported that she made a total claim of $502,500 (equating to £376,000).
The matter settled out of Court and it was reported that Samantha received 50% of all Chester’s royalties.
It is important to note that the claim brought by Samantha was made in the American Courts.
How would this claim be dealt with by the English Courts?
Former spouse/civil partner
Under English law, as an ex-spouse, Samantha would have been able to make a claim for reasonable provision under Section 1(b) Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, provided that:
- She had not remarried or entered into a new civil partnership; and/or
- There was no bar to her making a claim under the Inheritance Act contained within the terms of her divorce.
Factors to be considered
When deciding whether to make an award for financial provision, under the circumstances, the Court would have had regard to the following:
- The financial resources and financial needs that Samantha has or is likely to have;
- The financial resources and financial needs which any other applicant has or is likely to have;
- The financial resources and needs that Chester’s wife and six children have or are likely to have;
- Any obligations and responsibility which the deceased had towards Samantha;
- The size and nature of the net estate;
- Whether Samantha, Talinda or any of the six children have any physical or mental disability; and
- Any other matter, including Samantha’s conduct.
As Samantha is Chester’s ex-wife, the Court would additionally have regard to:
- Her age;
- The duration of the marriage/civil partnership; and
- Any contribution that she made to the care and welfare of the family and the home
It is important to remember that as an ex-spouse, Samantha would only be able to make a claim for reasonable maintenance
What can the Court order?
If Samantha were successful in this case, the Court would make an order against Chester’s estate. There are different type of order that can be made by the Court these include periodical payments, lump sums, settlements, property acquisitions or variation to existing settlements such as divorce settlements.