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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7430
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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My son has been living with a lady for the past 2 years in

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My son has been living with a lady for the past 2 years in rented accomodation. Unfortunatley she is critically ill in hospital and we would like to know in the event of her passing away whether he can make a claim on her estate?

What assets does she have?

Do they own anything jointly?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Tom,


She has recently got divorced and consequently she has £184,000 in her


bank account from the proceeds of the sale of her house which she lived


in with her ex-husband. She owes approx. £20,000 on credit cards, thus


leaving approx £164,000. I also think she has a pension but not sure


what that is, and I am not sure whether she has any life assurance. She


also has a Car which is in her name, which was bought recently for


£11,000 and paid for in full, which my son drives.


She may also hold some shares but again I don`t know how many and


with whom.


My son, as I said earlier, has been living with her for approx the past 2


years at their current address and has been paying money into her bank


account to help pay for the rent and bills, as far as I am aware for the last


2 years.


My current concern is that he does not earn enough money to stay in the


flat on his own.


She is an alcoholic and has been very difficult to live with especially, the


last 12 months or so, when my son has had to care for her whilst holding


down a job at the same time.


I don`t think there is anything in joint names apart from a bank account


which has no money in it.



Craig Stevens





Thanks for your patience.

If your son and her have any jointly owned items (eg. Joint bank accounts) then upon her death these would pass to your son automatically upon her death regardless of any direction made in any Will she has.

If they are not married and she has not made a Will with him as a beneficiary then her estate would pass under the intestacy rules.

In the case of an unmarried person their estate would pass according to the following order:-
 Surviving children (of whole or half blood, please note children does include adopted children);
 Surviving parents;
 Surviving brothers & sisters (but if deceased then their children, if any i.e. the deceased's nieces or nephews);
 Surviving half brothers & half sisters;
 Surviving grandparents;
 Surviving aunts & uncles (but if deceased then their children, if any);
 If no cousins then it goes to the Crown (the Government).

If this is not what she wants to happen then she needs to execute a Will immediately.

If she dies without making a Will then his only option would be to make a a claim against the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependent) Act 1976. To do this he would have to show that he was dependent on her to some degree prior to her passing. This is a contentious matter, which means that it can involve litigation with those otherwise entitled under the intestacy rules. He would need a solicitor for this and the application must be made within 6 months of the date of the grant of probate in the estate.

He’s not really in a great position if it was genuinely intended that he should inherit and she has not made a Will.

I have to go out for half an hour now. I will be able to answer any replies upon return.

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Kind regards,

Thomas and 3 other UK Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

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