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Legal News | 14.12.23

The Man, the Myth, the Statute

The Man (and his wife, civil partner, or cohabitee)

It is not unusual for married couples, civil partners, and unmarried couples to want to ensure the survivor is looked after financially following the death of the first of them.

The Myth

It is a common misconception, particularly for unmarried couples, that the survivor will automatically be ‘looked after’ financially after the first death.

The Statute

Making a valid Will helps to ensure that those you love and for whom you want to provide after your death actually do benefit from your estate on your death.

If there is no Will, your estate may not automatically pass to your preferred loved ones on your death.  Even for married couples and civil partners, where there are children and the deceased’s estate exceeds £322,000, then everything does not simply pass to the survivor as was covered in our newsletter A Change to the Intestacy Rules

If you simply cohabiting then even more vital that you make a Will. Cohabitees are not yet recognised and, without including them in a Will, the survivor’s only option might be to bring a claim against the deceased’s estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. This is costly and does not automatically guarantee that the surviving cohabitee will be successful.

Our Private Client team here at Wansbroughs strongly advises you to take some time over the festive period to consider who you would like to benefit from your estate after your death, and whether they would be legally and adequately provided for in the event of your death.


Posted By Our Wills, Tax, Trusts & Probate Team