The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 says that when a relationship ends, each partner gets to share equally in the couple’s relationship property.
The reason for equal sharing is that the law treats each partner’s contributions to a relationship as being of equal value. As a result, each partner gets an equal share of the property connected with the relationship.
When people die, their property is distributed according to their will or the rules of intestacy (which apply when there is no will). But a problem can arise where the deceased leaves their surviving partner less than their equal share in the property. In that case, the surviving partner would be worse off than if the couple had separated while they were both still alive.
To avoid a situation where the surviving partner could be worse off, the law allows a surviving partner to choose whether:
- to take whatever the surviving partner receives under the deceased partner’s will; or
- to divide the couple’s relationship property equally under the Property (Relationships) Act 1976.
The idea is that surviving partners should get at least half of their share of relationship property under the Property (Relationships) Act 1976.
We want to know what you think a surviving partner should be entitled to.
What do you think?[gravityform id=”20″ title=”false” description=”false”]
Sometimes a deceased’s family members believe they should get more property under the deceased’s will. Sometimes the law allows these people to take a greater share of the deceased’s estate if the will has not recognised them properly. The law also allows people to make claims against the deceased’s estate when the deceased promised to give property to a person in their will but then reneged on the promise.
If a surviving partner chooses to take half the couple’s relationship property rather than their share from the will, their half share will take priority over other claims. Any other claim for a share of the deceased’s property will not affect the surviving partner’s entitlement to half the couple’s relationship property.
We want to know whether you think a surviving partner’s entitlement deserves priority.