The Office of National Statistics has reported that there has been a 33% rise in the number of unmarried couples since 2005. Perhaps unsurprisingly, during this time there has also been a rise in the problems which result when an unmarried partner dies without a Will.
The number of unmarried couples living as a family has almost tripled in the last decade, making it the fastest growing family type. Under the rules of intestacy, only married couples, civil partners and some family relatives can inherit assets if someone dies without a Will. A couple living together as cohabitees have no legal rights to any of their partner’s assets should they die intestate, regardless of how long they have been together.
Currently, the Cohabitation Rights Bill is passing through Parliament which will better protect the rights of people who have lived together but are unmarried. However, it is unlikely to be effective until next year at the earliest.
Ensuring that your Will is up to date means your estate can be dealt with as smoothly as possible, reducing the likelihood of loved ones being unintentionally excluded when it comes to their inheritance.
If you would like to organise a meeting to review your arrangements, please don’t hesitate to contact us.