If a man and a woman in a relationship don’t want to marry and many of us don’t these days then the only other option currently available to them is cohabitation.
There are some key financial implications if you are cohabiting, non-more than your wishes on death.
Whilst such couples might describe themselves or be described by others as being in a ‘common law marriage’, this is not a legal term and as such does not give them the same rights as those who are married or in civil partnerships.
Couples in this situation must therefore make sure they have carefully planned every detail of what will happen should one of them die. Without a will in place, the death of one partner would result in intestacy rules coming into effect, which would mean the surviving partner, would not be provided for, potentially leaving them in serious financial difficulty.
Anyone cohabiting with but not married to their partner is therefore strongly advised to have a will in place which clearly lays out what should happen to their assets in the event of their death, as well as making plans for the IHT which is likely to be due. The IHT allowances that exist only cater for those who are married or in civil partnerships.
It is also worthwhile cohabiting partners looking at any pension or life policies they may have, as well as the death-in-service benefits offered by their employers, to ensure any payments in the event of their death will go to the right person. Whilst spouses and civil partners are commonly recognised in all these cases, cohabiting partners are likely to lose out without a formal nomination.
We would be more than happy to introduce to a solicitor to help you put an appropriate will in place; we can also assist you with nomination forms or indeed the provision of life cover where it is appropriate.
Please call 0161 975 6700 or contact your normal Cullen Wealth Consultant.