Living together? Why you need to write a Will

Cohabitation (or living together as an unmarried couple/family) does not automatically give you the same "rights" as marriage or a civil partnership. 

Find out the cohabitation risks, and find out how you can protect yourself, your partner and your family by simply making a will today.

Research by the National Consumer Council has revealed that only 17% of cohabitants have made a will.

So what? Well, consider this...

The consequence of not making a will are much more serious for cohabitants, than, for instance, married couples, because (under current laws) the partner has no automatic entitlement to the estate.

Put simply, if you're not married and living together, there are no guarantees under our current law that your partner will automatically receive any of your money or property should you die.

Put even more simply: if you're not married and want to ensure that your partner and children are protected and cared for, you should be making a will.

And put starkly: do not assume your partner has "automatic" legal rights to custody of your children. There is no-such thing as a "common-law husband" or a "common-law wife".

Unmarried couples are at risk if they don't make a will.

Here's what the Law Society says about the cohabitation risk that you are running:

"It is particularly important to make a Will if you are not married. […] This is because the law does not automatically recognise cohabitants as having the same rights as husbands, wives and civil partners. As a result, even if you've lived together for many years, your cohabitant may be left with nothing if you have not made a Will."

Making a will is a simple process, and with Lawpack's DIY Will Kit, you can make a will without incurring the expenses of a solicitor or use our fixed price Online Will Service or Bespoke Will Service provided by solicitors Irwin Mitchell.

By making a will, you're able to:

  • Say who you want to leave your property, money and other assets to
  • Ensure those you love are protected and cared for
  • Choose your children's guardians
  • Save your loved ones the heartache of having to pursue litigation to try and get what you feel they deserve

Don't leave it to chance: protect your family and make a will today.

Write your Will with Lawpack:

Other information

Cohabitation Risks: Reference

National Consumer Council "Finding the Will" 2007

Published on: May 10, 2010

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