Court allows 91-year-old to buy home he shared with partner
A 91-year-old man has won a longstanding legal battle to be allowed to buy the home he shared with his partner.
The couple had lived together in the home for 20 years. After the partner died, the man discovered she had made a will leaving all her estate to her daughter and nothing to him.
The daughter then began legal proceedings to gain possession of the house.
The man said that he and his partner had expected him to die first so she had not included him in her will. He accepted there was never any understanding that he would have an interest in his partner’s estate.
He had the means to buy a house if necessary, but he wished to remain in the home where he had lived with his partner because he was in poor health and was assisted by his neighbours.
The recorder concluded that the will had not made reasonable financial provision for his continued maintenance. He should therefore be given the option to buy the house from the estate for £385,000.
That figure was based on a valuation of the property obtained by the daughter. A joint expert had concluded that the property was worth £340,000.
The High Court and the Court of Appeal have upheld the decision. They held that the recorder had been entitled to conclude that the woman’s will did not make reasonable provision for her long-term elderly partner because it did not allow him to remain in their home.
The Appeal Court judges said the broad concept of "maintenance" could extend to the provision of a house.
Please contact Benedict Smith about the issues raised in this article or any matter relating to wills and probate.