This is a timely reminder that cohabitation and marriage have totally different rules when it comes to separation and inheritance. Take advice or risk unexpected results when you separate or make arrangements for beneficiaries from your estate after death. We can help to protect your position, but most of all this is about understanding that living together is never the same as marriage in law.
Martin Lewis has issued a warning to unmarried couples living together who have arrangements in place that will help manage their assets when they pass away. The Money Saving Expertfounder said in his latest online newsletter that couples who don’t plan on tying the knot should still get either a will, civil partnership or some form of contract to lawfully inherit their partner’s assets.
People who are not married or are in a civil partnership do not have status under inheritance law Martin warns, meaning a partner may not get assets they thought they naturally would if their other half dies. This includes not getting the house – even if they have lived in it for several years, as reported by the Mirror.
Pointing this out in his newsletter as well as the importance of wills, the financial guru urged couples to consider having the “unpleasant chat” with their loved ones.
“Live together but not married? Get a will, a contract, a civil partnership or tie the knot – your relationship means nowt in law.” He said.
“I don’t care if you’ve been together 82 years and have 17 children, if you’re not married or in a civil partnership, your relationship usually has no status under inheritance law. So if your partner dies, the other one may not get the house, even if they’ve lived in it for years. So a will can be even more important here.
“In addition, it’s worth considering a cohabitation agreement, which spells out what happens if your relationship breaks down.”
Couples who are not married, have dependent children or are worried about inheritance tax should think about putting a will together.