As a private client solicitor I often advise clients regarding estate planning and Wills. During our discussions I need to determine how they own their home to be able to properly advise them as to their options. What I find more often than not is that most of my clients do not know ‘how’ they own their property.
At our offices in Chichester, West Sussex and Alton, Hampshire we often hear of the term “common law husband or wife”, however it has no legal meaning or standing whatsoever. You are either married or you are not.
If you are not married and your partner dies without making a Will (‘intestate’) or making sufficient provisions for you in their Will then you, as the survivor, will have no right to any inheritance from his estate under the existing intestacy rules. This is despite how long you have lived with one another.