What does intestate mean for you?

October 2014 saw the biggest changes in probate law’s history come into effect. While the overhaul meant no real difference to those with minimal assets, for the partners of those who died without making a will and who have more assets, it meant significant change. In the cases where a Will is involved, the deceased’s Executors have the legal power to distribute their estate according to the deceased’s instructions. However, in the case of intestacy, the landscape is vastly more complicated. Who can Inherit? Under the rules of Intestacy, only…

Cohabitant agreements – giving unmarried couples rights

It’s an unfair fact of life, but in the eyes of the law a married couple has far more protection than a cohabiting, unmarried partnership. Even if you’ve spent years jointly contributing to the running of a house, split paying the mortgage between you, have children together, or have been living with each other for decades, the loss of a partner could change everything. If the relationship ends either through separation or bereavement, unmarried cohabiting couples do not have the same or similar rights as married couples. They don’t have…

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…

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