Unmarried couples and legal rights to inheritance
If you are living with a partner, but you are not married to them, it is critical that you make a will to protect them, otherwise they may get nothing in the event of your death.
Unmarried partners have very little protection in English law and the idea of a ‘common law partner’ has no legal standing.
What is the law on inheriting for unmarried partners?
Married couples receive some protection under the Laws of Intestacy. This means that even a spouse dies without having made a will, their spouse has some protection as they automatically inherit the first part of the estate.
Unmarried partners have no automatic right to inherit their partner's estate upon death. This means that even if you have been in a long-term partnership and effectively living as a married couple, your partner has no automatic protection should you die.
What can I do to protect unmarried my partner if I die?
The most effective way of protecting your partner, and ensuring that they inherit your assets, is to have a professionally written will made.
If no provision is made for a co-habiting partner upon death, that person will be forced to incur the costs and stress of making an application to the Court to attempt to obtain a share of any estate. This method is also not guaranteed to be successful.
For more information please contact us.