Case study: What happens if my partner dies and the house is in their name?
We frequently receive calls from worried people asking, ‘What happens if my partner dies and the house is in their name?’ To help explain the legal position, here is a brief outline of a case we dealt with on behalf of an unmarried woman who brought an inheritance claim against her partner’s estate. We were able to negotiate a favourable settlement at mediation which saved our client from being made homeless. If you are in a similar position and need help then call our free legal helpline on 0808 139 1599 for a case assessment and details of no win, no fee funding.
Our client cohabited with her partner for seven years before he passed away suddenly without making a will. He solely owned the property they had shared.
The rules of intestacy did not provide for our client, leaving her homeless. She therefore contacted our free inheritance helpline to see whether there were any legal steps she could take to avoid the financial hardship she was facing.
We agreed to make a claim on her behalf against her partner’s estate under the Inheritance Act. The defendants to the claim were his family who automatically inherited his estate. They were already financially secure in their own right. The basis of our client’s claim was that she had been left homeless by her partner’s death and his failure to make provision for her. This is a frustratingly common occurrence for unmarried couples and it illustrates how important it is for cohabitees to make a will. The situation is not assisted by the myth of the common law wife having legal rights, which they do not!
We had to act quickly to ensure that our client could remain in the home until her inheritance claim had been concluded and alternative housing arrangements could be made.
Solicitor Christopher Holten represented her at mediation and achieved an out of court settlement that ensured her financial future was secured.
Our client was not able to fund her own legal fees. We therefore represented her under a no win, no fee funding arrangement. This enabled her able to pursue her inheritance claim in circumstances where she would not otherwise have been able to do so.
If you are wondering what happens if your partner dies and the house is in their name then call our free helpline on 0808 139 1599 or email details of your case to us at [email protected]