Cohabiting couples reminded of the importance of will writing
Experts are reminding Britons of the importance of having a written will in place – particularly cohabiting, unmarried couples who run the risk of having a Court decide the future of their assets following an unexpected death.
Under English legislation, anyone who dies without a secure, fool proof will in place is subject to intestacy rules – guidelines which hold power over what happens to a persons’ assets and estate if they die without a will.
For cohabiting couples, even those who have lived together for several years, or long contributed to mortgages together, a surviving partner will simply have no rights if their spouse dies without recording their wishes in a recognised will.
In the case of cohabiting couples with children, Courts could be held entirely responsible for who is granted custody following a parental death – regardless of how long a cohabiting guardian may have cared for the child or children in question.
“Your will allows you to ensure your treasured possessions are cherished. You can name any sentimental items in your will that you have in mind for a specific beneficiary,” said a spokesperson for financial service provider, Wesleyan.
“Currently common law partners aren’t recognised under the laws of intestacy no matter how long they’ve been together. This is the case even if they have children or joint financial obligations.
“For those left in the position where a partner dies without a will, the only real option is to make an application to the court for financial provision out of the deceased’s estate on the grounds that they haven’t been adequately provided for.
“All of this comes as a surprise to many couples.”
Wesleyan’s comments come as a stark reminder of the importance for cohabiting couples to have a recognised will securely in place if they wish to have a say over what happens to their assets, or their children, following an unexpected death.
The only way to ensure that your wishes will stand strong in a Court of law is to consult a licensed legal specialist for expert advice.