The Will and the Cohabitee
If you live with your partner and have made a Will but, have failed to provide for your partner in your Will, then your estate may be challenged by your partner upon your death.
The recent case, heard on 21 March 2018 before His Honour Judge Jarman QC, dealt with a claim made by a partner who lived with the deceased but who was not included in the Will. The successful claim was brought under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
The deceased’s estate was worth approximately £1.5 million but, given that they had lived together for over 42 years it was decided that, even though the deceased had written supporting letters which had been left with the Will detailing why the partner had been excluded, the surviving partner should have been provided for under the Will. Accordingly, she was awarded a property owned by the deceased in the sum of £225,000, the sum of £160,000 and an additional sum of £28,845 to renovate the property.
You can read the case details here https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/law/cohabitant-entitled-to-slice-of-partners-15m-estate-judge-rules-/5065568.article
When making your Will, it is important that you provide all the information in relation to your personal circumstances to your solicitor who can advise you of any potential pitfalls or future issues which may arise in excluding certain beneficiaries from your Will. It will save any unnecessary expense to your estate and upset to your beneficiaries.
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