We are increasingly being asked to challenge estates on behalf of relatives and partners. Many people now cohabit instead of marrying, this includes same sex couples. The same people have often failed to make a will assuming that the law will protect them.
However, upon the death of one partner the other can suddenly find themselves potentially losing their home. You could live together for years and assume that you are common law husband and wife. There is no such legal concept in this country.
If you own your home together then this will often be as “joint tenants” meaning that the house will automatically pass to the survivor of you. But if the house was only owned by the deceased then his/her next of kin could make a claim against it. It is not uncommon to have a situation where the parents of the deceased are in dispute with the bereaved partner. Even if the house was jointly owned what about endowment policies, cars, investments and other properties?
If you are not married (or have not become civil partners) then you should make a will as soon as possible.
Our offices are based in the easy to access central locations of Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne and Sunderland covering the whole of the North East.
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