Cohabiting Partner’s Rights When a Partner Dies: A Summary

This article explains the rights of cohabiting partners (those who live together but are not married) when one partner dies.

Key Points:

  • Cohabitants may be entitled to financial support from the deceased partner’s estate, but they must meet specific criteria.
  • The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (I(PFD)A 1975) governs these claims.
  • Eligibility for claims depends on the length of cohabitation and the financial contributions of each partner.
  • There are time limits for making such claims.

Types of Claims:

  • Living as husband and wife for two years: This allows an automatic claim for reasonable financial provision.
  • Partially or fully maintained by the deceased: This allows a claim if the deceased financially supported the applicant.
  • Anti-avoidance provisions: These allow claims if the deceased transferred assets to avoid financial obligations to the cohabitant.

Making a Claim:

  • Applications are made in the High Court or County Court within strict time limits.
  • Specific rules and evidence requirements apply.
  • Costs are at the court’s discretion.

Additional Considerations:

  • This article doesn’t cover tenancy rights, tax implications, pension provision, or claims under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976.

This is a complicated area of law. For advice, contact