Q&A My partner died and his family are threatening to evict me and his children from his house

Q:        I had been with my partner fourteen years. We had two children together, now aged 7 and 9. In January my partner was killed in a motorcycle accident. He didn’t leave a Will and now his family have told me that my children and I will have to move out of the house. My partner owned the house when we met and although the house and mortgage were in his name I know he would have wanted us to stay. Can his family really kick me and the children out?

A:        As you and your partner were not married, you will not be entitled to receive any of his estate through the rules of intestacy. Instead, your two children will be entitled to his estate in equal shares, once they reach the age of 18.

As your children are currently under the age of 18, their inheritance will be held on trust for them. As their mother, you will be entitled to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration to distribute the estate. You will also become a Trustee of the trusts for the children. You will need to choose at least one other person to act as a co- Executor and Trustee alongside you.

As the house has been left to the children through the rules of intestacy, your partner’s family have absolutely no legal authority to evict you. As a Trustee of the trust, you are under a duty to use all trust assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries, i.e. your children. Providing them with a home is unquestionably a benefit to them.

It is important to note that as a Trustee you owe a duty of care to the beneficiaries of the trust. I would strongly recommend that you seek the advice of a solicitor to ensure that you follow the correct procedure when dealing with the administration of the estate and your ongoing responsibilities as a Trustee.

This question has been answered by Jessica Wright, a Solicitor with GHP Legal.  If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter, please visit our website www.ghplegal.com and use the contact us form, or call us on: Wrexham 01978 291456, Llangollen 01978 860313, Oswestry 01691 659194

Jessica Wright

Jessica Wright

Solicitor

Part of our Probate, Wills, Tax and Trusts team in Oswestry.