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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71153
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have a partner who is terminally ill. We have lived together

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I have a partner who is terminally ill. We have lived together for almost 14 years now, but he hasn't made a Will. He has 2 grown up children to a previous marriage. Victor wishes to share his assets between the 3 of us, 50% to me and 50% to his children, but as i am only his common law wife i am wondering how do i stand by law. Can the children contest this after his death?

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.

What is the value of his estate?

Is he going to write a will?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

His estate is worth approximately £20,000 which would be left from the sale of the property after his mortgage is paid off. At present the property is empty as we are living at a property which i own and have a mortgage on. There will be very little money left in his bank accounts as he has overdrafts which will need to be paid.

He wishes to make a Will asap to make things clear to everyone what he wants to happen. Would it be possible for me to write it on his behalf and arrange for a solicitor to come and see him to finalise it?

Is he able to get to a solicitor?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, he is too weak and at present is in hospital.

I must advise you against doing this will yourself. The reason is that it would then be extremely easy for the children to say that you had put your partner under some kind of influence.

They can contest the will in circumstances like this on two grounds, undue influence where you persuaded him to do something which he would not otherwise have done or under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) act if the deceased person doesn’t make provision for dependents children and family in their will.

If you speak to virtually any solicitor, they will do a home or hospital visit (for which there is an extra cost but would be worth it) which would thwart any claim for undue influence.

If your partner does not write a will, the state passes under the rules of intestacy which means that you would get nothing. For that reason, it is essential that he writes a will.

If he leaves half of his estate to you and half to his children, it is simply not worth them contesting that because, with an estate of this size it is probably going to cost them more to contest it (with the risk that they would lose) than they are arguing over.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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