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When a Cohabitee dies, the survivor may receive nothing if the deceased did not have a Will. If this happens expensive and lengthy court proceedings may be required and the outcome may not be guaranteed. Cohabitees should consider their position carefully.

Anything which is owned jointly will usually, though not necessarily always, pass by survivorship to the other owner. Anything which has been formally nominated or assigned to another person will usually go to them.

Anything which is not owned jointly, or been nominated or assigned, will be death with under the 'intestacy' provisions. The law sets down a table of beneficiaries, being blood relatives (adopted persons are treated as blood relatives of the adopters) and what proportion of the estate they will receive. Cohabitees are not included in the intestacy provisions.

Where the Cohabitee is a dependant and the deceased would reasonably have been expected to make provision for them, the dependant may be able to make a claim against the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 To be eligible, the Cohabitee must be maintained by the deceased at the date of death and the couple must be living together at the time of death and for, at least, the 2 years leading up to the date of death.

This information shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We are not responsible for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in reliance of this information.

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