What makes a de facto relationship?

 In Uncategorised

Have you ever considered whether your boyfriend or girlfriend could legally be considered as your spouse?

A recent NSW Supreme Court decision ruled that a couple, even though they did not live together, were still in a de facto relationship at the time of one of the pair passing away.

When thinking about your estate planning, it is import to consider all the people close to you and who may be eligible to receive a portion of your estate on your death.

The NSW Supreme Court has held in NSW Trustee and Guardian v McGrath that a couple who did not live together were in a de facto relationship at the time of death for the purposes of the intestacy rules.

The claimant, Mr McGrath, described the relationship as being one of boyfriend/girlfriend. They did not live together although they spent weekends at each other’s homes. Mr McGrath told the Court the parties had discussed living together and had made a conscious decision not to do so.

The case illustrates there is no one determinative factor when considering whether two people are in a de facto relationship. Despite the lack of shared residence the Court found that a personal commitment that is mutually acknowledged and of an emotional kind transcended the lack of shared residence, allowing the Court to find the existence of the de facto relationship.

If you need assistance getting your estate planning in order, contact Lisa Roberts Accredited Specialist in Wills and Estates.

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