Wills For Cohabiting Couples
My partner and I are not married and have been living together for 10 years, we have no children, is it really necessary to make a Will?
It is a common misconception that partners who have been living together for a number of years are afforded the same legal rights as those who are married or in a civil partnership. Regarding the rights your partner has to your estate if you die without leaving a valid will, the differences are immense.
You have no rights to inherit if you are not married or in a civil partnership, therefore, if you die without leaving a valid Will, you are termed intestate and intestate rules apply. These rules do not take into account how society has changed over the years; with a large number of committed, long term couples now living together without entering into a marriage or civil partnership.
If you die intestate then the rules of intestacy determine how your estate is shared out, your wishes or desires as to whom you would like to benefit are not valid or taken into account. Your partner would not be entitled to your estate. It could pass to siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles as determined by the rules of intestacy.
If you have no living relatives, then the bona vacantia applies, whereby the Treasury Solicitor is responsible for dealing with your estate as opposed to your partner.
Therefore, if you wish your partner to inherit in the event of your death (or vice versa), then it is incredibly important you both take the time to make a valid Will. Making a Will can often seem like the last thing you want to do, it is something that can be put off until some date in the future.
The prospect of an untimely death is hard to confront head on, but unfortunately it does sometimes happen. If you do not have a valid Will in place, then, in the event of your death, your partner could be left in serious financial difficulties, with no valid claim to your estate. If there is no clear statement within a valid Will as to how the deceased wishes their estate to be distributed, there can be family disagreements and infighting regarding the estate, causing additional pain to the remaining partner.
If you want to have a say in who inherits your property, money, belongings etc., then making a valid Will is the only option.
To draw up a valid Will for you both can take on average only 2 hours of your time across two meetings and cost from £200, for a couple with mirrored Wills. By enlisting Gerard James Estate Planning Limited, this can all be completed in the comfort of your own home.
Book an appointment to formalise your preferences now. We all know that ‘another time’ for these things never actually comes around. Call 07905 748073 and make today your time.