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feeling left out

  • 16-03-2021 11:36pm
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭

    I am a woman in my early 50s, I was with my partner for almost 14 and a half years when he died suddenly in April last year. We didnt live together but saw each other very regularly, when he became ill i was the only one there for him. I wasnt mad about his family and they very rarely were in touch with him, they put him down alot and criticised him for little things. I loved him very much and it broke my heart to see the way he was treated.

    The funeral was a small affair due to covid his family thanked me for my help but after that there wasnt much contact. They cleared his home very quicly and gave out about the amount of rubbish as the called it they took out of his home. That hurt as they were all his personal effects
    I was asked to collect a couple of things I wanted as a keepsake and that was the last I heard from them

    So here is my dilemma - I know he would have had a substantial pension plus other monies but it seems I have not been included in this. He didnt leave a will, Im not a greedy person but I feel abit hard done by by being forgotten about as my partner would definately have wanted me to have something he told me this 2 years ago. anyway there it is thats my rant


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,481 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith

    I'm so sorry for your loss and I know your relationship was an important and significant one - but when it comes to succession it is more definite about who inherits. They could also be making efforts to leave you out to keep you in your place so you don't make noises about inheriting anything.

    If he didn't leave a will and you didn't live together, that leaves you a bit out on a limb. A conversation about him leaving something isn't enough unfortunately. If you feel you are entitled to something because of a particular circumstance I would suggest you get legal advice on it as soon as you can. .

    If its simply to have an input into everything and not to be left out - put a call into them and start a bit of dialogue. Maybe suggest something for the year anniversary?

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 5,349 Mod ✭✭✭✭HildaOgdenx

    I'm so sorry for your loss. That must be very difficult.

    I'm no expert but I think, (as you mention pension specifically), that where someone has no dependants, the pension would stop automatically when the person dies. If your partner didn't have a will, I presume that everything passes automatically to next of kin. Again, I'm not an expert, but have a look at Citizens Information which also provides guidance about how to find out if a will existed.

    Once again, I am so sorry for your loss. I hope that you have someone to turn to, to discuss things with. I think that the absence of our usual rituals around death and funerals, because of lockdown, has really impacted us more than we even realise. You might find it helpful to get in touch with bereavement support groups, or a bereavement counsellor, in time.

    I agree with pp about making contact with a possible view to arranging an anniversary remembrance.

    Mind yourself, it's a very hard time for you. All the best.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,891 ✭✭✭Tork

    This might be something to take legal advice on. But really, I have a feeling you don't have a leg to stand on. Marriage isn't just a day out where everyone dresses up and you slip rings on each other's fingers. It's a legal status that gives you protections and makes you the next of kin etc. That's probably why the co-habitation laws were brought in several years ago - to protect people who hadn't married their partners. I don't want to speak ill of your partner but if he felt you were his next of kin, why didn't he do the paperwork? You didn't live with your partner so on paper, what is there to prove that you were his next of kin? Partner is a self-applied label here and I'm sure that's the way his family will see it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,419 ✭✭✭antix80

    It's not a dilemma

    If he had wanted to live with you he would have. If he wanted to marry you he would have. If he wanted to make a will he would have. If he wanted to provide for you he would have.

    I'm sorry if that sounds harsh but I hope you can see the truth in it before picking a fight with his family.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,673 ✭✭✭Xterminator

    Hi OP

    i completely understand your feelings o this matter. Its part of the grieving process that is hard to move past when you bear a grudge.

    Im glad you got to play a prominent part i his funeral. It was only right, and shows his family are not unthinking ogres. They just have a different point of view than you, because their relationship was different with their brother/father/cousin etc. your experiences and knowledge of him, is not invalidated by theirs, nor vice versa. I sure you brough a lot of happiness to his life in your years together and hope the reverse is true also.

    It would have been nice to feel the split of assets to his estate had been equitable, in your opinion. But the executor/administrator of the estate has to follow all legal procedures. And if someone dies without a will then law does apply. (Succession Act 1965.)

    The fact you never got married, nor cohabited has a real impact on how his estate is handled. And to be clear this is not the 'fault' of greedy relatives. This is either a conscious decision by your partner, or a lack of planning by him/both of you. This sounds harsh, and i apologise for that. It really is something you as a couple should have discussed and planned for - especially given the lack of other legal protections.

    As there was no will the law applies and it make no provision for special friends. Judging by the harmonious funeral there didn't appear to have been any great ill will towards you by the family, and if you wanted some consideration, that was not provided by law you would have had to express these wishes, and hope the family acceded. As the saying goes the closed mouth does not get fed.

    under the circumstances - i can only sympathise with you, and advise you to get grief counselling t help you move past any negative feelings - for you own sake.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,719 ✭✭✭Rubberchikken

    I'm sorry for your loss Op.
    It's made all the harder I'd imagine by feeling left out of the will after 14+ years together.
    But as you've read in previous posts the law is the law .
    It's good that his family acknowledged you and let you have items that mattered etc.
    Maybe counselling in time will help.
    Take care

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,123 ✭✭✭Ellie2008

    Hi OP,

    I think one of the replies is a bit harsh. I’m sure many people don’t make wills as they are in denial about their mortality.

    Assuming the legal advice is as you were neither married nor living together you have no entitlement without a will and assuming there is no will (both to be confirmed), it is always open to you to approach his family and relay the conversation you had with him. Before you do so you need to ensure you are mentally strong enough to handle a backlash. These are people who you don’t appear to have a relationship with & asking for money is always awkward.

    For whatever reason the two of you didn’t marry or move in together so presumably you are financially independent. I’d recommend counselling to help you work through the grief, & also to explore your feelings about the current situation.