The following Wills & Probate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (I(PFD)A 1975) permits a claim by a person who has cohabited with the deceased and applies to both opposite sex and same sex partners of the deceased. However, in order to pursue a claim that person will have to establish:
that cohabitation had continued for the whole of the two years immediately before the death of the deceased
that the claimant lived in the same household as the deceased
that the claimant was living with the deceased as his/her husband or wife or civil partner
Living together for two years does not mean that this period must be continuous. The court will take into account the practicalities of relationships such as the need to be separated for short periods in, for example the course of employment, working away from the family home. Equally, a tour of duty in the armed forces would not be counted adversely.
Thus the immediacy of living together before the death of the deceased is not construed literally. Authorities indicate that the situation to be considered will be the general arrangements that subsisted during the deceased's lifetime rather than the de facto and perhaps fluctuating situation that existed at death. Thus, in an analogous situation, if a person was maintaining another but stopped when he developed
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