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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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To Whom it May Concern,I am mourning the recent

Customer Question

To Whom it May Concern, I am mourning the recent Death of my Partner and request my question which is of a sensitive issue to me is not submitted for public viewing. I have also omitted names to provide privacy and appreciate your understanding on the matter. Hi. My situation is complicated. My Partner unexpectedly passed away Easter Sunday. We did not marry but lived in his home as a married couple and planned to marry in time should his existing Wife pass. Sadly she has Alzheimer's and was sectioned under the Mental Health act in 2005. She has been in a Care Home since that time and is completely financially supported by the State. My Partner recently consulted with his Solicitor about making a new Will and he opted for Unilateral Severance, made a new Will stating his wishes nominating me to be the Executrix on the Will and addressed me also as his Partner. His half of the property is to be divided equally between his two brothers, one surviving sister and me. He stated I shall remain in the property for my lifetime, but we were advised that this instruction will be overridden if /when his Wife passes whereupon I shall be instructed to sell the property because his Wife's Will states it is to be passed onto her Sister and Nieces. We forgot about his state pension. He signed over a personal pension to me two years ago and I am advised that I may receive a 'drawdown' of approx. £5011.00 on it annually or take the value of it less the extortionate tax deduction of 55%. I sold my house last year to commit fully to him as he asked me to. It was a hard thing to do as it was the only thing I had to show for the years I worked and it broke my heart to do it, but I loved him and agreed to show him full commitment as he asked of me not expecting him to pass away so soon. I'm still in shock. I was totally dependent on him as a housewife. I have no income other than the possibility of the annual 'drawdown' figure stated above. I support myself with the small remaining amount of money left from the sale of my property which is being quickly swallowed up by bills. He asked my daughter to move in us a year ago with our baby twin grandsons following the breakdown of her relationship and after being abandoned by her Partner. She is suffering severe post natal depression and is receiving Counselling. We look after the babies together, missing the help and presence of her 'xxx' who was retired and able to enjoy spending all his time with us. She could not cope alone. The loss of her step father now has added more to her low state of being. I can't leave her to find work until she is better able to cope within herself. I have written to the DWP regarding my Partners pension after his brother prompted me to question the Solicitor holding the original Will, whereby he advised me to write to them stating my circumstances for consideration. He said, under normal circumstances my Partners pension would go to his Wife as his dependent as they are in fact still married in the eyes of the law, but as her condition renders he incapacitated mentally and physically requiring 24 hour care (unaware of anything, unable to talk, move, has to be fed via a tube in her stomach, double incontinent, unsafe to move for showers and can only have bed baths) the State government supports her needs so she is not a dependent, therefore the Pension could just stop? If I understood him correctly he further said, if it can be shown that he does have a dependent it may be possible for the pension to be paid to that person, but that would be solely at the discretion of the DWP it is not a guaranteed situation though it has been heard of. The Will addresses me as the Executrix and his Partner, he considered me to be his Wife as I considered him to be my Husband. We lived as a married couple and I was a housewife supported by him. I am in need of clarification on this matter, as I really do not know what position I am in suffice to say I am living in his house and was dependent on him. Could you please advise me?

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
I am so sorry for your loss - may I ask how old you are?
Clare

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