Cohabitee makes claim for £325,000 from her late partner’s estate

A Judge is due to rule in a family dispute relating to a man’s £1million fortune.

Carole Anne Taylor had first met James Redmond in 2005 and lived with him at his Berkshire home for the final seven years of his life as man and wife, entitling her to bring a claim against his estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975, she says.

He lost his long fight with prostate cancer in 2014 and it subsequently emerged that the Will he had drafted some 20 years earlier made no provision for Ms Taylor.

Now the 70-year-old has made a claim for £325,000 from her late partner’s estate, with her legal team arguing that she had “a legitimate expectation” that she would be provided for.

Following Mr Redmond’s death, Ms Taylor has had to move in with her son and his partner and has said that she wants to buy a home.

The man’s daughters – Jane Redmond and Lynn Leberknight – have disputed the claimant’s account of her relationship with their father and claimed that the retired gas safety manager had romances with a number of women in later life.

Ms Redmond said: “My father was very charismatic and he did love Carole – I’m not disputing that, but it wasn’t an exclusive relationship.”

Does it need to be? That is the question. Is it sufficient that he was supporting her?

The case has now reached the Central London County Court, where evidence was heard this month.

Reserving his ruling until a later date, Judge Stephen Hockman QC said: “This is a sad dispute. It’s a great pity to see people, who I am sure are inherently decent people, accusing each other of lying.”

Carter Lemon Camerons LLP Solicitors is a City law firm which provides Wills and probate services with a personal touch to its clients – that go beyond the simple drafting of documents. Unlike many City practices we are happy to act in smaller private legal matters, bringing the same care and consideration as we do to large commercial matters. If you require advice on making, defending or contesting Wills, please contact Neil Acheson-Gray or Ian West.