Law Overrides Will That Excludes Partner

The law that allows someone who was dependant on a deceased person during their lifetime to make a claim against their estate if there is no, or adequate provision for them in the will is one of long standing (the Inheritance ( Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 175.

However, many people think it applies only to blood relatives.

That this assumption is incorrect was confirmed in a recent case in which a 70 year old woman was awarded £325,000 from the estate of a man with whom she had had a relationship lasting more than 20 years, the last seven of which they had spent together in the man’s home, which was the principle asset of the estate.

His will left £1 million entirely to his two daughters, both of whom were comfortably off.  When his former partner made a claim under the Act, the daughter opposed it, contending that the relationship was not one of permanence and substance.

The judge concluded that the man had clearly had a responsibility to his partner and made the award.

Comment by Ruth Mills- Head of Wills & Probate.

 This is a very interesting case, that raises two issues:-

1.    If you are in a similar position and wish to leave assets in a particular way, then it is best to make a Will.

2.    However, if you are in a similar situation in which a provision has not been made for you, you may wish to consider challenging a Will that excludes you.

If you wish to discuss any of these matters, please telephone Ruth Mills on Telephone number 01305 250900

James Tawse