Should You Consider a Companionship Agreement?

Posted on July 31, 2018
Jefferies Solicitors Companionship Agreement

Are you currently living with a companion in a non-romantic relationship? Are you a homeowner who has a close friend residing with you to share living costs? If so, you may want to consider setting up a ‘Companionship Agreement’ to help protect your Estate for your intended Beneficiaries.

As a nation which is living longer than ever before, it is inevitable that there has been an increase in the number of elderly people seeking to reside with a companion. This may be due to the death of a spouse or because of a breakdown in marriage. It is also far more common for children to live in different parts of the country, making it harder for them to assist their parents in their old age. As such, companionship can give comfort to families.

However, under the Inheritance (Provisions for Financial Dependants) Act 1975, a surviving companion may be entitled to a share of the Estate, when the other person passes away. Children may be faced with claims from the surviving companion for provision from their deceased parent’s Estate.

Surviving companions can claim they were dependant on the other person, for example for housing needs, and even if they have only been part of someone’s life for a relatively short amount of time, surviving companions could be entitled to receive provision from the Estate.

We strongly recommend that if you live with a companion, you should consider setting up a ‘Companionship Agreement’. The Agreement will be used to describe the nature of your living arrangements and seek to prevent or mitigate any potential claims following your death.

If you would like advice about preserving your Estate for your intended Beneficiaries, with the aim of reducing the risk of unnecessary disputes after death, please contact Emma Blakesley on 01702 443484

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