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Cohabitees’ inheritance rights – courts will decide each case on its facts

Date:3 MAY 2018
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Private Client analysis: In Thompson v Ragget and others [2018] EWHC 688 (Ch) [2018] All ER (D) 18 (Apr) the claimant claimed reasonable financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 out of the estate of her late partner who had left her nothing. Paul King CEO and head of legal practice and Jen Wiss-Carline chartered legal executive at April King Legal comment on the case.

What are the practical implications of this case?

If a cohabiting couple do not make wills and one passes away the survivor has no statutory right to inherit under the intestacy rules. However like the claimant a surviving cohabitee may use the courts to claim for financial provision where they have cohabited for two years or where they were a dependent immediately before the deceased’s death.

A key issue in such cases like the present case is whether to provide accommodation by way of a life interest rather than a capital transfer. In the well-publicised case Ilott v The Blue Cross and others [2017] UKSC 17...

Read the full article here.