Posted by Darryl Aarbo — filed in Wills and Estates Law
When does an intimate friendship become a legal relationship with rights and obligations attached? An Adult Interdependent Partner (AIP) is a legally defined terms that most people refer to a “common law partner”.
AIPs have significant rights and obligations to each other upon death. The failure to consider these rights and obligations in a will often leads to litigation. This is often the result of the failure to recognize when your close friend becomes an AIP. “She was just shacked up with him for a few years, why should she get anything!” is a common statement when trying to dismiss the girlfriend when dad dies.
Also, knowing when an AIP is an AIP is not all there is too it. AIP’s have many defined rights under legislation but then there are property rights that are undefined by legislation, these are found in the “Laws of Equity”. Thus, you may have equitable rights to property even if you are not an AIP. Very old laws about unjust enrichment applied to modern relationship can be like the square pegs and round hole analogy. This area is a minefield of problems.
By Darryl Aarbo of Aarbo Fuldauer LLP
Address: 3rd Floor, 1131 Kensington Road NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 3P4
Phone: (403) 571-5120