Usually, an unmarried partner is the partner of the deceased, who lived with him / her without getting married or entering into a civil partnership, and this can include same-sex relationships.
In most cases, the claimant must show that:
a) He / she was living in the same household as the deceased;
b) That they had lived together as a couple in a domestic relationship, not just sharing a house;
c) That they had lived together for a period of two (2) or more years immediately predating the date when the deceased died.
If circumstances meant that there was a temporary separation at the date of death (e.g. working overseas, sickness etc.), the courts will usually take a common sense and realistic approach in working out whether this meant a real separation, or whether or not the relationship has come to an end.
An unmarried partner and Intestacy: No Will
If a person dies intestate (without a Will) their civil partner is entitled to take under the Intestacy Rules.
You should make inquiries to see if a Will exists: Click here for more information.
For some couples, serious and complex legal problems may arise and you should consult a solicitor to see how they can be resolved. Click here for more information.