Inheritance warning as common ‘myth’ sees couples at risk of missing out on legal rights


Products You May Like

Unmarried couples are being warned they could be set for an inheritance nightmare, due to a “common law” myth. Perhaps most importantly is the rule that states there is normally no inheritance tax to pay if a person leaves everything above the threshold to their spouse or civil partner.

However, this is not extended to those who have been in a relationship but not married – even if they have cohabited for years.

The same goes for the issue of inheritance itself, as a person will not be able to automatically inherit on the death of their partner.

This is known as the “common law myth”, lawyers have warned, with many unmarried couples believing they have the same rights are married couples.

Therefore, many do not realise they have to actively make a claim for inheritance when their partner passes away. 

READ MORE: State pension triple lock – Liz Truss urged to ‘reaffirm promise’

Claire Chisnall, Solicitor at Stowe Family Law, said: “Our survey results have highlighted that there is still a belief that if you have been in a cohabiting relationship, specifically over a long period, you would have the same legal rights as if you had been married.

“This is a myth and has no legal basis.

“It leads to many cohabiting couples thinking they don’t need to look at alternative ways of financially protecting themselves, when in fact they do.”

Ms Chisnall suggested individuals may wish to consider a cohabitation agreement.

This allows couples to set out their intentions when they first move in together and would cover what would happen to any property if they separated.

READ MORE: State pension to stop being paid to Post Office Card Account in months

Having a water-tight agreement is likely to help later down the line if disagreements occur.

Ms Chisnall continued: “These agreements can be persuasive in disputes over property in the future if they are prepared properly.

“It may help in an inheritance act claim in the event of the death of one party, if the agreement clearly sets out what the intentions of the parties were in life, and the financial provisions available to them.”

However, if a person wants to make sure their wishes are carried out in the event of their death, a Will is considered the best way to do so.

A Last Will and Testament clearly lays out a person’s desires for what happens after they have passed away.

This is particularly important for cohabiting couples, as they do not have the same rights in life or death as married couples. 

Ms Chisnall explains without a Will in place, a cohabitee would be able to claim under the Inheritance Act 1975.

This would be possible if they have been in a relationship for at least two years up to the point of their partner’s death, and they were living in the same household as if they were a married couple.

These claims, however, are complicated and can be expensive to progress.

Consequently, any outcome is extremely difficult to predict, and Britons may be unnerved by this uncertainty.

Ms Chisnall highlighted change is unlikely to happen soon regarding cohabitation.

As a result, she urged cohabiting couples to take steps to protect themselves financially. 

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

The Final Cut Reviews; Deet n Bax Save th’ World – A Stoner Comedy Starring Jason Mewes, Craig Michaelson and Weston Cage.
Deet n Bax Save the World Movie Starring Jason Mewes Premier on 4/20/2015 in Portland
Feature Film “Deet n Bax Save the World” Starring Jason Mewes to be Released on 4/20/2015 ”Deet n Bax Save the World” an Action Stoner Comedy starring Jason Mewes produced by TruEarth Entertainment.
TruEarth Entertainment to Deliver First Feature Film Starring Jason Mewes
Deet n Bax Save the World Movie – Sex, Guns & Weed!
Deet n Bax Save the World wrapped on November 4th!
Deet n Bax Save the World resumes filming this Monday in Portland Oregon!
Deet and Bax Save The World Movie Resumes Filming Soon!
Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon may lose his passport soon
‘America is fully prepared’ Biden’s stern warning to Putin over defending NATO allies
Sean Connery’s brother made a rival ‘James Bond’ film and the 007 star was furious
Attendance Allowance: Pensioners could be missing out on DWP benefit worth £369 per month
Mercedes ‘push for Red Bull punishment’ as FIA statement set to infuriate Lewis Hamilton

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.