Last week the Supreme Court ruled that Ms Brewster was entitled to her late partner’s pension despite the fact that she and Mr McMullan were not married and that Mr McMullan had seemingly not named Ms Brewster on the requisite form for her to be eligible to receive his pension as a survivor. If the couple had been married then Ms Brewster would automatically have been eligible for the survivor’s pension.
The couple had lived together for 10 years and became engaged on Christmas Eve 2009, two days before Mr McMullan died aged 43.

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Ms Brewster should receive payments under the pension scheme, and the decision has been welcomed by the Law Society of England and Wales as a victory for equal treatment before the law for unmarried couples.

Cohabitees do not have the same legal rights as married couples despite there being an increasing trend for couples to reside together without being married. As such, cohabiting couples need to ensure they are adequately protected should anything happen to either of them.

If you would like some advice regarding cohabitation, please contact a member of the Blythe Liggins Family Team.

Caption: Eilidh Rose, Solicitor. Family Team

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