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Anyone know anything about commonlaw wifes rights?

(11 Posts)
BlackCatinChristmasChaos Tue 20-Nov-12 06:44:05

Trying to find out information for my mum. We are in England. Her partner died recently and we are just trying to find out what her rights are etc.

Can anyone help?

Wondering about where I could go to find help too. Did think of C A B or the library but anyway if anyone can help out that would be great!

NotaDisneyMum Tue 20-Nov-12 06:59:18

My solicitor told me that there is no such thing as a common-law wife (or husband).

DP and I have put a number of legal documents in place to ensure our wishes were fulfilled in the event if our deaths - if we hadn't, then neither of us will have any rights sad

talkingnonsense Tue 20-Nov-12 07:00:02

In England, I think none. In Scotland it's different I think.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 20-Nov-12 07:02:37

I think the CAB would be a good idea.

Was there any kind of will?

HeidiHole Tue 20-Nov-12 07:04:11

The only thing I know is that there is no such thing as common law wife

If you want the extensive rights and protection afforded to a married couple there is a simple solution. Become a married couple. Otherwise you are 'just' a friend or flatmate in the eyes of the law.

This isn't to say your mum doesn't have rights. For example did they jointly own their home? Have joint bank accounts?

EMS23 Tue 20-Nov-12 07:05:20

Common law wife/husband doesn't exist in England.
Is it a housing issue? Was there a will? Did he have kids?

meditrina Tue 20-Nov-12 07:10:21

None, really. She will inherit if he has made a will in her favour. And if she is joint owner of a property she will of course still own her share and may get his share (depending on details of how property is held).

If he has not, then she will receive nothing under intestacy law, but if she can demonstrate he has been supporting her, she may be able to make a challenge for some provision. Such actions can take time, and outcome is uncertain. She will certainly need a solicitor to advise.

For pensions, it will depend on the terms of the pension and whether he has nominated her as a beneficiary.

ProfYaffle Tue 20-Nov-12 07:13:46

Have a look here this is what the CAB will take you through on your first visit.

poshfrock Tue 20-Nov-12 07:18:21

There is no such thing as a common law wife in England and hasn't been since the17th century. If your mother was co-habiting with her partner for at least 2 years, and was financially dependent on him, and he has not made any provision for he in his will ( or if there is no will) then she may be able to make a claim against his estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents ) Act 1975. She needs to see a solicitor who specialises in contentious probate. Basically it means that she will have to sue his beneficiaries ( most likely his children). There are time limits on making a claim so she should see someone ASAP.

If they owned any assets jointly such as a house or bank account then she may inherit these automatically by survivorship depending on the ownership structure.

If you are in the Yorkshire area I can recommend an excellent contentious probate specialist if you PM me.

babybarrister Tue 20-Nov-12 09:37:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BlackCatinChristmasChaos Fri 23-Nov-12 09:47:36

Thanks for all your replies. I might be seeing mum today so I will let her know.

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