Love is a wonderful thing, but it can lead to unwise and life-changing decisions made without legal advice. In one case, a woman contributed thousands of pounds to the construction of her lover’s home in the mistaken hope that he would marry her and leave her the property in his will.
The woman was aware that her boyfriend sometimes carried on more than one relationship at a time. However, that did not prevent her reaching heavily into her pocket to help him out. When he died, however, he left her nothing in his will, bequeathing the lion’s share of his estate to two horse charities.
She launched High Court proceedings, claiming that the property, which was worth about £450,000, should fairly be hers. However, in dismissing her case, the Court found that her lover had not promised that he would leave the property to her. He had not said or done anything which would have led her reasonably to believe that such a promise had been made.
The Court observed that her financial contributions had been made, some might say naively, towards a hoped-for joint life with the man she loved and hoped to marry. However, he had turned out not to be willing to give the commitment or adjust his lifestyle in the way that she had hoped.