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What to do after a death in Scotland ... practical advice for times of bereavement: revised 11th edition 2016 (web only)

Published: 16 Nov 2016
Part of:
Law and order
ISBN:
9781786522726

General information on what to do after someone dies in Scotland and about succession and inheritance law.

80 page PDF

250.2kB

80 page PDF

250.2kB

Contents
What to do after a death in Scotland ... practical advice for times of bereavement: revised 11th edition 2016 (web only)
25. Cohabitants

80 page PDF

250.2kB

25. Cohabitants

The Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 introduced new rights for cohabitants. A cohabitant is either one of a couple who live together (or lived together) as if they were husband and wife or civil partners.

The Act came into force as part of Scottish law on 4 May 2006. The Act allows a cohabitant to ask the court for a share from his or her cohabitant's estate. This only applies where the person who died did not make a will. If you want to apply for a share from your cohabitant's estate, you need to do so within six months of his or her death.

When the court considers giving a share of someone's estate to a former cohabitant, it will look at the couple's relationship. It will consider things such as:

  • how long the couple lived together
  • what sort of relationship they had (was it similar in nature to a marriage or a civil partnership?)
  • what sort of arrangements they made about money. For example:
    • did they have a joint bank account?
    • did they support one another financially?

This will help the court to decide whether a cohabitant is entitled to an award under these rules.

Cohabitants may have rights to a croft tenancy on intestacy under the Crofting Reform etc. Act 2007.

If you think any of this might apply to you, you should seek independent legal advice from a solicitor or a Citizens Advice Bureau. You can read more about family law on the Scottish Government's website at www.gov.scot/familylaw. You can contact the Scottish Government's family law team on 0131 244 3581.


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