Unmarried Partners and Financial Consequences if the Worst Happens
There is an increasing trend for couples to decide to not get married but rather live together, as if they were married. Sometimes this cohabitation is as a run up to getting married, but it can be a long-term arrangement. Studies by the Office of National Statistics show that in 2016, the average age for an opposite-sex couple to marry (as a first marriage) was in the 30-35 years of age bracket and this age continues to rise.
Sadly, it is our experience that many aged in their 20's and 30's who are cohabiting fail to make a Will which provides for their partner, should they pass away unexpectedly. Many cohabitees have substantial Estates before the age of 40 and, if they do pass away unexpectedly without making provision for their partner, it is common to find their partner in an unfortunate financial position.
These cases are not limited to young cohabitees, however. If you find yourself in a position where your partner has not adequately provided for you in their Will or did not make a Will in their lifetime, you may be able to inherit from your late partner's Estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. This law allows, in certain circumstances, people not in Wills to obtain a share of an Estate.
If you would like to seek advice about making a claim on a partner's Estate, please contact a member of our Contentious Probate team in Walsall on 01922 720333 and in Sutton Coldfield on 0121 355 2336. Similarly, if you would like to make a Will to ensure your partner inherits from your Estate, without the uncertainty and additional costs of applying to the Court, please contact the Probate team using one of the same numbers, who will be happy to assist you.