News: Lords debate inheritance in cohabitation bill

Cohabitation|Family Law|News | 22 Oct 2012 0

The House of Lords has debated key aspects of the Inheritance (Cohabitants) Bill, a private member’s bill which proposes significant changes to the rights of cohabitants if their partner dies.

Speakers in the recent House of Lords debate included Lord Lester of Herne Hill for the Liberal Democrats, who introduced the bill, describing it as closing “…an important gap in the rights and needs of cohabitants and their children. Whereas spouses and civil partners whose partners die intestate are not placed in additional hardship because of the intestacy regime, cohabitants and their children are at risk.”

Meanwhile Baroness Deech was opposed to the legislation, saying that judges already had the discretion to provide for cohabitants in need under the existing law. The bill would be “a shift away from the family”, she argued.

Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws said the issues highlighted by the bill should not be seen as in opposition to marriage: “To argue that this [the bill] is somehow an attack upon marriage is to misunderstand the purposes of this effort to change the law.”

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. Guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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