Civil partnership or cohabit – which is better?

Not everyone wants to get married in a church or registry office. For many cohabiting couples, a civil partnership is far more attractive – it moves away from the idea of women being the ‘property’ of their husbands and is infinitely more acceptable to those who do not follow any particular faith. Civil partnerships have been available for same-sex couples since 2004, yet they are still not available for heterosexual couples who cohabit. In June the legality of denying heterosexual couples the right to have a civil partnership was challenged…

Challenging times: what happens when family is cut out of the will?

High profile inheritance disputes follow celebrities and the super-rich as surely as night follows day, but such challenges are becoming increasingly common, whatever the values involved. Some of the names to have made headlines include the artist Salvador Dali, whose body was exhumed last year for a DNA test after a woman claimed to be his daughter and entitled to a share of his $1bn estate. Former South African President Nelson Mandela left the bulk of his estate to his current wife, but his late ex-wife Winnie challenged the will,…

Disputing a Will can be a very costly exercise

Record numbers of inheritance disputes are going through the courts as modern family structures and rising house prices push more families to contest unfavourable outcomes.  One recent case has seen a family lose out after legal action involved two brothers who have run up fees of more than their entire inheritance by disputing a stepmother's share of their father’s estate. The trend towards increased inheritance disputes has been attributed to a number of factors.  Increasing numbers of so-called ‘blended’ families where divorced parents re-marry is one such factor, with original family members…

Unmarried couples need to protect themselves

A landmark victory in the Supreme Court has seen a Northern Ireland woman win a share of her former partner’s pension, with commentators saying it’s likely to add impetus to the drive for greater rights for unmarried couples.  But, in the meantime, cohabitees should face up and formalise arrangements, rather than keeping their fingers crossed.   The victory of Denise Brewster involved her claim for a survivor’s pension after her long-term, live-in partner Lenny McMullan died suddenly, shortly after they had become engaged.  He had paid into Northern Ireland’s local…

Property prices help fuel family inheritance court battles

Rising property prices are helping to fuel increased numbers of inheritance disputes reaching the courts, with second marriages another major contributory factor. Such challenges are no longer the preserve of the wealthy, although they continue to feature highly. Recent cases hitting the headlines have included the family fall-out following the death of the billionaire owner of Sotheby’s, Alfred Tauber, through to a court case over a £600,000 estate destined for good causes, where the will was unclear. The trend towards higher numbers of inheritance disputes has been attributed to a…

Cohabitation – protecting your interests

In a recent report by the Office of National Statistics, the number of cohabiting couples was shown to have increased significantly in the 10 years to 2013 and the number of couples opting to live together without getting married or entering into a civil partnership is only likely to increase over time. A common misconception is that there exists the legal principle of “common law” husband and wife which affords cohabiting couples similar rights to those of married couples. Unfortunately the reality is that no such legal principle exists and…

Powered by How to backup and restore wordpress site

error: Content is protected !!