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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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My common law partner passed away unexpectedly in January 2015.

Customer Question

My common law partner passed away unexpectedly in January 2015. She had recently set up a life assurance policy through work to help me out and clear our debts, pay for funeral arrangements etc should anything happen.
However, when she started work for her employed she had initially put her mother as next of kin. A year later when she set up the policy she also updated her next of kin to me (her partner). The policy was set up to go the original next of kin. I believe this was an error by the company as my partner had specifically told me the life assurance policy had been set up for me. She came home the even after it had been set up and make a joke about how I'd receive a payout should anything happen to her.
I originally never pursue the claim as I was preoccupied with the grief and shock. I also didn't want to cause any additionally problems with her family. I was half expecting her family to help me out with money as I was left with all our joint debts etc. However I have never recieved a penny from them. Having talked to close friends and family about the situation, I have been advised to seek legal advice as it doesn't seem right I didn't receive anything from the life assurance policy.
Where do I stand on this?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 7 months ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information first.have you spoken to the Company at all?What debts did your partner have?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi Clare.Thank you for your response.No I haven't spoken to the company directly. It was a policy set up through my partners work. I attended the initial meeting at her work place with her parents where we were informed my name wasn't on the policy and from that point on I wasn't included.Specifically in my partners name we had furniture on finance, a car on finance and various credit cards and overdrafts. The car was returned to the finance company and the furniture debt was written off. My partners parents took ownership of the bank debts.We were financially dependant on each other and I also have debts in my name which were for joint purposes. I have a loan, credit card and overdraft. I have been slowly chipping away at the debts over the last year but the interest rates have made it a slow process. I also had a massive loss in earnings and extra outgoings whilst my partner was in intensive care. The knock on affect of this has affected me long term and I'm struggling to catch up with my finances.My frustration is that my partner and I forsore this is what would happen should one of us pass away and for that reason we set up the life assurance policy. My partners parents moved abroad 3-4yrs ago and had a long distance relationship with us. They have always been very money orientated but I feel on moral grounds I now wish to pursue this further.I've had a very difficult year with very minimal support and it's not what my partner would have wished for.Regards,
Jason Barry
Expert:  Clare replied 7 months ago.
Who paid for the funeral?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Her parents paid for the funeral.
Expert:  Clare replied 7 months ago.
How much was the policy worth?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
It's was four times salary, just over £100k I believe.
Expert:  Clare replied 7 months ago.
Did your partner mention the policy and who she had named to anyone else?

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