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He won't make a will; CASHBACK: Word of Advice.

Byline: Sam Hillas

Q I AM worried about what would happen to me and the children should my partner die. He refuses to make out a will, saying it is morbid. But the house is in joint names, as is our bank account.

I am worried about my account being frozen and having nowhere to live as I think my partner's parents would contest any estate.

A WHERE you own property with another person who has died, in most cases the survivor of the two joint owners is entitled to the whole of the property by right of survivorship. This is what we refer to as a joint tenancy.

However in some cases the ownership has been set up as "Tenants in Common" in which case the half share will pass to the deceased's estate. You must therefore check your title deeds to see which type of ownership you have.

In the case of a joint bank account the balance automatically passes to the survivor on the death of one of the holders and the account will not be frozen (unless it was the kind of account where more than one signature is required on cheques).

It is essential for people who live together in a long-term relationship and who are not married to each other to make a will. Otherwise on the death of one of the partners the whole of their property and money will pass to their "next of kin" which is likely to be their parents, brothers or sisters.

Where a couple are married, they are each the next of kin of the other, so will inherit most of their partner's estate, but not necessarily all of it, if the estate is a large one.

Even when you are married it is best to make a will to ensure that what you want to happen actually does.

This is even more important if you have children.

In your case, although the house and bank account would probably pass to you, the rest of your partner's property and belongings right down to items of furniture and even clothes would pass to his family, as next of kin.

You also need to think about his company pension, if he has one, as he needs to nominate you as the person he would wish to receive any "widow's" pension.
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 29, 2001
Previous Article:Put together pension plan; CASHBACK.

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