Contentious Probate Update: Cohabiting Couples

We have update on one our cases discussed in our previous blog Contentious Probate: Cohabiting Couples.

The claim was heard in the courts last year, but the ruling has just been made public. Firstly, a quick summary of the case.

Carole Anne Taylor and James Redmond

  • Carole Anne Taylor and James Redmond met at a dance class and lived together as man and wife for 7 years until his death.
  • Mr Redmond did leave a Will, which he made 20 years ago, leaving his estate to his two daughters. His Will made no provisions for Mrs Taylor. Consequently, Mrs Taylor has made a claim against his estate for £325,000.
  • Mr Redmond’s daughter are contesting the claim on the basis that the relationship was not exclusive. Mr Redmond had another long term girlfriend whom he spent weekends with.
  • His daughters claim that as a result, Mrs Taylor and Mr Redmond’s relationship cannot be considered to be that of a husband and wife.

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The Ruling

The judge ruled that James clearly loved Carole and deemed her as his partner. She cared for him during his illness until he passed away. Carole was his wife in everything but name. James had a responsibility towards her as well his daughters. However, his Will failed to make any provision for Carole.

The judge has ordered James’ daughters to pay his partner, Carole, £325,000 of his £1million estate and her legal costs. £180,000 of that should be used to purchase a property for Carole to live in. The property will eventually pass to James’ daughters on Carole’s death.

To read the full article click here.


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