Case study of a successful inheritance claim against a partner’s estate
For expert guidance on making an inheritance claim against a partner’s estate call us on 0333 888 0407 for a free case assessment and details of no win, no fee funding.
Mr D’s partner died intestate (without leaving a will). The consequence of this was that her entire estate passed to her mother and nothing to Mr D.
The estate was worth in the region of £200,000, the main asset being the couple’s home which was registered in her sole name.
We advised Mr D that he had a legal interest in the property under what lawyers refer to as a constructive trust, because:
a) he and his partner treated the property as “their” home and Mr D relied upon this when he undertook and paid for significant renovations, including fitting a new kitchen, paying for the rendering, retiling the roof, paying for replacement hot water cylinders, a central heating pump, bathroom taps and landscaping;
b) this work was done in reliance upon his late partner’s assurance that the house was equally his; and
c) that Mr D contributed equally to the utility bills.
We also advised that the intestacy rules failed to provide him with reasonable financial provision and that he should be awarded a sum for his maintenance in accordance with the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
Both the constructive trust and Inheritance Act claims were defended by his late partner’s mother and sister. They robustly refuted any suggestion that Mr D had an interest in the property and alleged that Mr D’s relationship with the deceased was nothing more than landlord and tenant at the time of her death.
However, the defendants eventually had to concede that the inheritance claim was a strong one and the case was settled by negotiation before court proceedings were commenced, with Mr D receiving a substantial lump sum.
For free initial advice on bringing an inheritance claim against a partner’s estate or making a constructive trust claim contact us on 0333 888 0407. You can also email us at [email protected]