‘My sister was unmarried – can she claim her late partner’s estate?’

However, this changed at the end of 2014 for spouses and civil partners who were allowed “additional permitted subscriptions” and in effect to inherit their late spouse’s Isa with tax benefits intact. However, again this is not the case with unmarried or non-civil partners. So even if Martin had left a Will leaving his Isas to Frances, they would have still lost their income tax free status. 

As an aside, in terms of gifts on death to individuals, only spouses and civil partners are exempt from inheritance tax.

Back to the 1975 Act. For a cohabitee to bring a claim there must be evidence of having lived with the deceased full time for two years before death. Interestingly case law does not restrict living together as just one house. Martin and Frances could have gone from him to her house to her to his house and it still would count. 

For cohabitees, claims under the 1975 Act are almost always limited to maintenance only. This means keeping a claimant in their accustomed lifestyle, but not going beyond that. The nuts and bolts of these cases are an analysis of a claimant’s capital and income versus expenditure. This can be intrusive. 

Frances would need to show she is worse without Martin and limited in what she can now afford, compared to when he was alive. Frances has a home to go back to and the issue will be whether she can afford to live there on her own and do what she did with Martin (e.g. have holidays) without additional funds from Martin’s estate. 

This is a tough call for Frances at a time she is most likely not at her most robust. I regret that my final point is that there is a time limit here. Frances must issue a formal legal claim within six months of Martin’s children extracting a “grant of representation” from the Probate Registry to deal with his estate. They will need this document to sell his house. 

I wish you and Frances well in your deliberations. The 1975 Act is there to rescue the financial situation of people who are bereaved and then have a second shock of being left financially insecure. Please do the sums and if Frances is one of those persons, she must think very carefully about bringing a claim.


Ask a Lawyer is written by Gary Rycroft, solicitor at Joseph A Jones & Co, and published twice a month on Mondays. Email your questions to askalawyer@telegraph.co.uk

Related Posts

The exchange rate of the dollar has changed in the capital’s exchange offices: how much is the currency now worth?

You can sell the American currency on average at the exchange rate of UAH 39.80. per dollar The hryvnia exchange rate against the euro strengthened by 20…

The USA moved a destroyer with “Tomahawks” to strike distance in Crimea and Rostov (photo)

The USS Nitze is capable of reaching Crimea, the Donbas war zone, as well as southern Russian regions, including Krasnodar Krai and Rostov Oblast, with missiles. USS…

In Mariupol, the occupiers are mass checking the phones of schoolchildren: what are they looking for

Local residents write that after such “checks” children are afraid to go to school. In Mariupol, the occupiers check the phones of schoolchildren / ua.depositphotos.com In the…

Horoscope for Scorpio for February 2023: half-time jugglers

What will be Scorpio’s horoscope for the month and what events to expect – read in the material. Horoscope for Scorpio for February 2023 / depositphotos.com February…

Scandal surrounding Eurovision 2023: the Czech Republic will be represented by a Russian woman

National selection for Eurovision took place in the Czech Republic. The group Vesna won with the song “My sister’s crown”. Vesna group in the clip “My sister’s…

Turkey reported the death of Ukrainians as a result of the earthquake: the reaction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs appeared

The Ukrainian embassy is verifying information from the Turkish side regarding the deaths of Ukrainians. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is checking information from the Turkish side…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *