Nothing for living together for 42 years
That's what Wynford Hodge left his long-term partner, 79 year-old Joan Thompson, in his Will. Instead he left his £1.5 million estate to tenants and friends.
Ms Thompson pursued a claim against his estate and in a High Court judgement on 29 March 2018 His Honour Judge Jarman QC granted one of his properties, worth £250,000, £28,845 to renovate the property and £160,000 for her future maintenance and care. In reaching his decision the Judge made particular note of the length of their relationship and her financial dependency on Mr Hodge.
Joan Thompson pursued her claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975. This allows potential claimants to pursue a claim against an estate which leaves them nothing or insufficient for their needs. It is the same legislation which estranged daughter Wendy illot relied on in her long-standing battle to get payment from her late mother's estate.
In Ms Thompson's case she was entitled to pursue a claim under the Act both as someone who was financially dependent on the deceased and because they had cohabited together for more than two years. Often in such cases the court would grant a life interest in a property to the successful claimant rather than make a transfer of property. The order made reflects that the court had a real sympathy for the position in which the claimant found herself and the size of the estate which enabled the Judge to make an order in such terms.
Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.