Man Loses Gift From Partner After Her Death

A man who was given £61,000 by his partner a week before her death has been ordered to return it.

Leonard Taylor was given a cheque by his partner Doris Luker a week before her death.  Ms Luker’s Will went on to leave him the property they shared, cash and a car.

The rest of her estate was to be divided between Cancer Research Campaign and the British Heart Foundation.  However, when Mr Taylor had taken his share there was no money left.  The executor of the Will (backed by the charities) contested in court that the £61,000 must be a loan and should be repaid to the estate.

The High Court ruled that the sum must be treated as a loan without sufficient evidence to show that it was in fact a gift.  Mr Taylor’s legal team had argued that the ‘gift’ could not have been challenged had the couple been married.

If you are cohabiting this case highlights the importance of a carefully drafted Will to record your wishes and of keeping this up to date.  If would like advice on your legal rights in relation to the issues raised in this case please contact our Family Law or Private Client Departments for more information.