Probate and the Rights of Co-Habitants

Under the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Applications of Co-Habitants Act 2010, a couple is deemed to be co-habitants when they have lived together as a couple in an “intimate and committed relationship” for in excess of five years (or 2 years if there are children of the relationship) before the date of death of one of them.

The Act provides a surviving co-habitant with an entitlement to seek maintenance against the estate of the deceased. It would be up to a court to decide in each case if a co-habitant has a fair claim. The court will look at every aspect of their relationship - duration, financial independence, age, etc. in coming to a decision.

Under the Act, the onus is on the surviving co-habitant to make the claim and proceedings must be brought within 6 months of the Grant of Probate/Letter of Administration issuing.

For more information on the Rights of Co-Habitants in Probate matters, please contact Julie Mullan.

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