In Southwell v Blackburn  EWCA Civ 1347 the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal against a successful proprietary estoppel claim, where a cohabitee was awarded £28,500 representing a slice of equity in the property the couple had cohabited.
The case raises significant concerns about the potential to lose assets and equity to former partners following relationship breakdown; cohabitees may be awarded a share in property even when it was in their partner's sole name and even if they have made no significant contributions to the purchase price or outgoings.
The Inheritance and Trustees' Powers Act 2014 provides for changes to the intestacy rules and apply where a person dies on or after 1 October 2014 without a valid Will.
If you die “intestate”, or without a Will, the law sets out what happens to your estate in the intestacy rules which says that only your spouse, civil partner, children or blood relatives can (but not always do) benefit from your estate.
This means that unmarried couples and long term partners are not protected. Your children and grandchildren may get nothing.