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Spouse and cohabitee claimants under the 1975 Act: meeting in the middle?

Date:19 JUN 2013

Ruth Hughes

Barrister 5 Stone Buildings 

In this article Ruth Hughes discusses claims by spouses and cohabitees under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.  The recent cases of Musa v Holliday [2013] 1 FLR 806 Lilleyman v Lilleyman [2013] 1 FLR 47 Iqbal v Ahmed [2012] 1 FLR 31 and Cattle v Evans [2011] 2 FLR 843 are all considered in detail.  Most important is Lilleyman v Lilleyman which was a decision of Briggs J (as he then was) concerning the hypothetical divorce comparator in the context of an estate with a large portion of non-matrimonial property in the context of a large estate and a short marriage.  Ruth also considers the possibility of providing for a spouse or cohabitee's housing need by way of a life interest in a property rather than by making capital provision for a claimant.  Ruth argues that the court has began to be more generous to cohabitees and that although a spouse can still expect more generous provision than a cohabitee in a similar position the gap is...

Read the full article here.