High Court Confirms the Right to Buy for Deceased Partners Home

In a recent case reported from the High Court, which upheld an earlier decision, a 91-year-old man has been granted the right to buy the home he shared with his partner, because she had not made reasonable provision for him in her will.

The Court heard that the man had lived in the home with his partner for 20 years. She had made a will leaving the house and all her estate to her daughter, and nothing to him.

After she died her daughter began legal proceedings to gain possession of the house as quickly as possible. 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 partners estate.

In this instance the man has sufficient 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 he was assisted by his neighbours.

In the initial hearing the judge concluded that he should be given the option to purchase the house from the estate for the sum of £385,000.

That figure was based on a valuation of the property obtained by the daughter. It was agreed a joint expert would be appointed, and they concluded that the property was worth £340,000.

The matter was appealed, and the High Court upheld the decision. It held that the initial judge had been entitled to conclude that the women’s will did not make reasonable provision for her long-term elderly partner, because it did not allow him to remain in their home.

We have considerable experience in dealing with matters by way of Dispute Resolution, and where possible try to keep the matter out of the Courts jurisdiction, simply because of the costs and the time involved.

If you have a possible claim and wish to discuss similar matters, please do not hesitate to contact us.