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Can the surviving spouse claim support from the heirs?

Verified 22 octobre 2019 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

Yes, if he is in need, the surviving spouse can apply for support from the heirs. If the latter refuse to grant it, the surviving spouse may apply to the court. Support payments shall be made from the estate of the deceased.

The surviving spouse must meet the following 3 conditions:

  • be married to the deceased at the time of death (or separated from body but not divorced),
  • in need at the time of death,
  • provide proof of financial position.

  FYI : if the surviving spouse's need arises after death, the surviving spouse cannot obtain support.

The time limit for applying for the pension is 1 year from the date of death.

If heirs ceases to pay the support due to the surviving spouse, the request to resume the payment must be made within 1 year after the interruption.

In case of indivision with the heirs, the delay extends until the estate's assets are shared.

Maintenance payments are paid from the estate. It is borne by all heirs outside their personal property.

The surviving spouse must therefore claim maintenance from the deceased's heirs.

If the heirs refuse, the surviving spouse may apply to the court, which will decide whether to award a pension and which will determine the amount.

Support may be:

  • periodically reassessed
  • adjusted if the beneficiary's resources vary from increase to decrease,
  • deleted if the need state no longer exists.