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Legal & money

Have you contested a will for lack of provision as a cohabitee

(18 Posts)
sandwichjen Sun 12-May-19 21:52:44

Hello. I would really appreciate hearing about the experiences of anyone who has contested a will under the Inheritance Act for lack of provision as an unmarried cohabitee, or has had a family member's will contested in this way.
Am asking as my mother is considering challenging her late partner's will for this reason.
Thank you for anything that you can share, whether it be a good or bad experience.

Tartlet Sun 12-May-19 22:38:55

Challenging a will could be very expensive I think so it would be a very good idea for your mother to get some good legal advice to help her decide what to do.

Can I ask how long your mother and her late partner had been cohabiting?

newnanny Sun 12-May-19 23:19:48

Unless you have evidence that the person who died was not of fit state of mind what ever they put in their will should stand. If you Mum was not married to her partner she has no legal rights unless she can prove she paid equal amounts of money towards mortgage over many years as her partner.

sandwichjen Sun 12-May-19 23:29:20

Thanks for your replies
Tartlet, they lived together for 23 years in the house that he owned. I think she may be looking at no win no fee lawyers.
new nanny, that’s what I assumed but she has read that under the Inheritance Act she can claim for reasonable provision because they lived together regardless of the fact that he owned the house

Dolcelatte Mon 13-May-19 00:02:19

My understanding is that there needs to be provision for dependants, so it sounds as though your mother has a good case if she was financially reliant upon her partner.

Tartlet Mon 13-May-19 03:14:38

Sandwichjen, did the lack of provision come as a surprise to your mother? Was the date of the will fairly recent or is it an old one which hadn’t been updated to reflect the long term partner of your mother? I’m just wondering whether the lack of provision is deliberate or accidental.

Are the current beneficiaries of the will likely to challenge your mother’s claim? If it turns into a pitched battle it could be very stressful for your mother.

Has she had to leave the house? Is she able to support herself financially? It’s appalling really if she has received nothing from the will.

sandwichjen Mon 13-May-19 08:29:41

Thanks Dolcelatte. Do you know what counts as financially reliant? They kept their financial matters separate and paid half of the household bills each. He owned the house when she moved in so she never contributed to any mortgage or maintenance towards the house.
Tartlet, she knew the contents of the will and is an Executor. She was left a small amount of money, which although it does not say it in the will, was I think meant to be a gift for undertaking the duties of an Executor. Probate has been granted. I think that she was hoping that when his family saw the amount that she had been left in comparison to the size of the Estate they would feel that it was unfair and would offer to give her some more but this hasn't happened.
She never intended to remain in the house after her partner's death, and has already moved out. Long term I think she will have to use her savings to support herself.
Am pretty sure that his family will challenge my mother's claim.

M0nica Mon 13-May-19 09:04:10

There is only one way forward. Consult a solicitor who specialises in Wills and Probate and can advise you what the legal situation is and whether a claim stands any chance of success.

sandwichjen Mon 13-May-19 09:20:33

Thanks M0nica. I know you are right. Just wondered if anyone had personal experience of contesting a will and if they felt the stress involved was worth the financial outcome.

Niobe Mon 13-May-19 09:57:37

If she knew the contents of the will she should have asked him about it and never have relied on any goodwill from his children/ heirs. Did your mother have her own house when she moved in? What happened to it? If she still has it then she will at least have somewhere to live but it must weaken any claim she may make on his estate.

Bibbity Mon 13-May-19 10:53:17

How much savings does she have?
Why would she not use them to support herself?
What income does she currently have?

If she is able to support herself she will be expected to and would not have a claim solely based on their relationship.

The family would have their own priorities for the finances that would be in line with the deceased.

bingo12 Mon 13-May-19 12:43:33

Beware the ''no win no fee'' scenario. I found out this actually meant if you DID win - the legal fees doubled which in my case made legal action not worth while. Legal fees would have been £40,000. Also was only give this information at last minute by large respected London legal firm - which I left.

Littleannie Mon 13-May-19 21:45:43

My son enquired about no win no fee solicitors when he had an accident.
As I understand it, you have to take out an insurance policy. If you win, the solicitor takes a share of your pay out, if you lose he claims his fee from the insurance policy, so either way he makes money out of it. BUT, if you lose, you have to pay the other side's legal fees, which can be massive. So you could end up hugely out of pocket.
If I am wrong on this, I'm sure somebody will put me right.

sandwichjen Mon 13-May-19 23:06:11

Thank you everyone for your comments and information, especially about the no win no fee approach. I really appreciate you sharing the experiences that you've had.

Dolcelatte Tue 14-May-19 03:36:36

sandwich, it's all a question of fact really and a matter for the judge. It's worth taking advice about, just for your own peace of mind. It seems odd to be raising into rather than at the time the ill was made, unless her financial circumstances have changed. If she was financially independent, separate bank account etc, this will make any claim much more difficult. Has she broached it with the family or could you do so on her behalf?

Deedi Tue 14-May-19 08:11:02

I have PM you

Quercus Mon 30-Sep-19 08:17:54

I don't really understand how she could challenge a will since she knew the contents and was an executor. A sad lesson for cohabitees though.

Daisymae Mon 30-Sep-19 09:05:32

This is also something that those who consider marriage just a bit of paper to consider. Re the no win no fee, I have used it to my advantage.vthe clue is in the title. The fees are claimed from the other party. They only take on a case if there's more thy 60 percent chance of success, well that was in my case. BObviously it's all in the details but might be worth exploring further.