Couples that aren’t married or in a civil partnership are considered in the eyes of the Law as ‘cohabiting’. No matter how long you have been in the partnership, the Law does not provide automatic rights. Intestacy rules define that any property or assets will be passed to the closest relatives first, potentially leaving surviving partners in a difficult financial situation. In a lot of instances, this could also mean a loss of a home and security for the surviving partner.

The most obvious route to providing financial security after death is to ensure the partner is named as a beneficiary of the Will. Drawing up a Will with a specialist will ensure all bases are covered, after your death, leaving your partner with peace of mind and financial security. At Holmes Family Law, our Team of consultants can provide you with bespoke Will writing and private client advice, ensuring your family is taken care of when you pass.

What happens if there is no Will in place?

The Law does provide some protection for cohabiting couples and any children that are part of the relationship. The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 entitles the living partner to make an application to the court if the following applies:

  • As a partner, you were financially dependant on the other partner up until their death, and there was no provision (or an inadequate provision) made. This could apply if there was a no Will in place, or the current Will did not provide an adequate provision.
  • Intestacy rules mean that you are not entitled to a provision, or the amount is not enough
  • You live in a ‘husband and wife’ relationship in the same household, and this has been the case for two years leading up to the death of your partner.

This is also applicable when there are children involved in the relationship if there was little or no provision made, either with or without a Will. The remaining partner can apply to the court to make a claim as a parent for the benefit of the children.

Need advice on preparing a Will?

At Holmes Family Law, our team of expert Will and Probate Lawyers can advise you of the legal complexities in ensuring your family is taken care of once you have gone. Talk to the expert Wills & Probate consultants today on 0191 5009337 or 01670 707338 during office hours.

What do I need to consider?

One of the most important aspects is to ensure that there is Will in place, both for yourself and your partner. Other legal tools include a cohabitation deed, life insurance and nomination of pension benefits – all backed by a Will.

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