You and the Law – 24th May 2011

Old folks home

My father is in his 80’s and has had a lady friend for about 10 years.  He went to live with her in her council house two years ago after she had a burglary. She is 92, has £20,000.00 in the bank and hasn’t made a Will.  What position would my father be in if anything were to happen to her?  She has one nephew.  EC

If the couple are living together as man and wife your father would have a claim on his partners estate on her death since they have lived together two years.  It could be expensive to make such a claim, however, and the nephew could potentially raise questions about the nature of their relationship since the burglary seems to have prompted the current arrangement. 

They should either get married or make Wills.  Your father should also get his name on the council Tenancy Agreement, although he may well be able to take over the tenancy if his partner dies.

Briefly jobless

The firm I worked for went out of business.  I was given my redundancy forms and asked to hand the van keys to the accountants on the site.
Over the weekend I got a phone call from a firm which had taken over the contract asking me to come in to work on Monday.  Will I still be entitled to redundancy pay?  HM

It depends whether the transfer of the business falls under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations.  Generally, where employees are dismissed as redundant they are entitled to a redundancy payment unless the new owner offers continued employment before the notice given to employees expires. 

Since you were given no notice of redundancy, then on the face of it you should be entitled to a statutory redundancy payment.  Ring the Governmentis redundancy payments helpline on 0845-145 0004.

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