When a cohabitant passes away WITHOUT A WILL, the surviving cohabitant will need to have this cohabitational relationship formally declared in order to benefit from the deceased’s estate. With the help of an attorney, the surviving cohabitant must:
(1) File a Notification of Interest at the Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago declaring the fact that he/she was in a cohabitational relationship with the deceased and has an interest in his/her estate. According to section 25 of the Administration of Estates Act, this must be done within 28 days after the death of your partner.
(2) File an application in court to declare that you were in a cohabitational relationship with the deceased.
You will only be considered to be living in a cohabitational relationship with the deceased if you both lived together for at least 5 years immediately preceding the death of the deceased and you lived together as husband and wife.
Once you are declared by the court to have been in a cohabitational relationship with the deceased you will be entitled to share of his/her estate.
PLEASE NOTE: If the cohabitant dies WITH A WILL, his or her estate, will be shared according to his or her wishes as set out in the will.