Tim Watson, a solicitor in our Contentious Probate Team, has recently settled an Inheritance Act 1975 claim on behalf of his client, Miss S.
Miss S had been in a long term relationship with her partner, Mr B. They were not married but had been living together, in a jointly owned property, for many years. Mr B died without leaving a Will. In such a situation, the intestacy rules dictate who receives the assets of the Estate. In this case, Mr B left two adult children who, in accordance with the intestacy rules, were each entitled to 50% of Mr B’s Estate. Mrs S was to receive nothing except Mr B’s share in the property, as it was held by them jointly.
Tim Watson represented Mrs S in bringing a claim under the Inheritance Act 1975 on the basis that she and Mr B had lived together as husband and wife for a period of at least 2 years, ending on Mr B’s death. As the value of Mr B’s Estate was relatively modest, it was crucial to approach the claim in a pragmatic manner to ensure that Miss S’s legal fees were kept proportionate to the sum she sought from the Estate.
Tim Watson was able to bring the matter to a swift conclusion and a settlement was reached, whereby Mr B’s Estate was divided three ways, with Miss S and Mr B’s two daughters each receiving a third share. A Deed of Variation was completed by all parties in order to give effect to the agreement.
This represented a very good result for Miss S, who was able to put the funds received from Mr B’s Estate to good use, by spending it on much needed renovation works to her home.
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