A woman who faced losing the home she shared with her partner for almost 20 years has won her legal battle.
Joy Williams expressed her immense relief after Central London County Court ruled in her favour a few days ago.
The court heard that the 69-year-old had lived with Norman Martin since the 1990s, sharing a three-bedroom home in Dorchester, Dorset.
But Mr Martin remained married to his estranged wife and despite intending to change his will he had never got around to doing so.
This meant that when the West Country dentist died from a heart attack four years ago, his share of the property passed to his wife Maureen.
The case – which highlighted the dangers of not changing a will to take account of changing circumstances – proceeded to court and Judge Nigel Gerald heard representations from Ms Williams that she should be awarded her partner’s share of the house.
In the end the court ruled that it was “fair and reasonable” that she should retain “an absolute interest” in the property.
Speaking after the hearing, Ms Williams said: “I am relieved and delighted that this case is finally over because it has taken a huge toll on me and my family.
“I was with Norman for 18 years and those were very happy times. I loved him, he loved me and I still treasure his memory.
“I hope my situation raises awareness for others to consider their own financial position in relation to their partner and consider whether they need to take advice to protect each other in future.”
Mrs Martin, who was ordered to pay substantial costs, has said she will appeal.