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So important that couples make a will; LEGAL BRIEFING WITH ERICA BURT-MOORE, PARTNER, PRIVATE CLIENT TEAM AT CLARKE WILLMOTT.

COHABITING couples are the fastest growing family type in the UK with 3.2 million such couples in 2015 according to government statistics. However, many of these couples may not be aware that, as they are not married or in a registered civil partnership, they have few automatic legal rights on the death of their partner.

If one of a cohabiting couple dies any assets owned jointly will pass to the surviving partner but this does not necessarily include a house as it depends on the exact way this is jointly owned. The surviving partner has no automatic right to any assets owned in the deceased partner's sole name or to their share of the house if this is owned jointly as tenants in common; entitlement to these assets depends on the deceased partner having made a will.

If the deceased partner has made a will in favour of the surviving partner all should be well, but if there is no will, the surviving partner will not receive any of the solely owned assets which will pass to the deceased partner's closest surviving blood relatives.

The surviving partner could bring a claim against their partner's estate if insufficient financial provision has been made for them. However, this is only possible if the surviving partner was financially dependent on the deceased partner or they had been living together as a couple for at least two years before the death.

It is essential that cohabiting couples make a will if they wish to provide for each other, and nominations of death in service and pension benefits should also be considered along with appropriate inheritance tax planning.

?FOR further information, please contact Erica on 0345 209 1748 or by email at erica. burt-moore@clarkewillmott.com See www.clarkewillmott.com

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Publication:Solihull News (Solihull, Birmingham, England)
Date:Dec 8, 2017
Words:296
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