Cohabiting Partners

Introduction to Cohabiting Partners

Introduction to Cohabiting Partners

Under the Family law and the rules of intestacy spouses, and civil partners including same-sex spouses and civil partners have wider rights to inheritance than Cohabiting Partners . Aggrieved spouse or civil partner who has been left out of a Will or who is not inheriting on intestacy can apply for a benefit from the estate of deceased after the death of his/her spouse and civil partner.

What is Cohabiting Partner?

However, a cohabitee or cohabiting partner has no or very limited rights in the inheritance of his/her partner under the rules of intestacy and where such cohabiting partners have not left anything in a Will for cohabiting partner.

In a recent landmark case decided on 29 March 2018, the court has awarded a right to the distribution of the estate of the deceased cohabitee. The pair were living together for nearly 42 years but never married or formed a civil partnership. They purchased the disputed property and estate with a view that the couple will retire to it.

Cohabiting Partners


However, upon the death, the deceased partner left the whole estate which was valued at £1.5 Million to his tenants and few friends. His cohabiting partner was left with nothing.


According to Cohabitation laws, The family court awarded reasonable provision for the maintenance of the remaining partner, she was granted a property worth nearly a quarter a million pounds, £160,000 for her future maintenance and care, and approximately £28,00 to renovate the property.


This landmark judgment although contentious but nevertheless allows cohabitees who are left with nothing by their partner to secure financial provisions from the estate of the partner that reflects their contribution to the relationship, even though cohabitees have no legal cohabitation rights to their partner’s estate.

The major factors considered by the courts were the length of their relationship, financial dependency on each other and rules of fairness and justice. It is likely that in future, the cohabiting couples may inherit a reasonable estate from their partner’s estate. It is worth noting that there is no automatic legal right as of now, however, this judgment may have paved a way for such right.   

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While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. Each legal case and issue may have unique facts and circumstances, as a result legallex does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information provided. For further help and guidance, you can always rely on and seek advice from our experienced lawyers.

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