Cohabitees advised to write a will

Writing a will is the best solution for the security of cohabiting couples, one property expert has said.

In a letters page to the Western Mail, one reader, who has been with her partner for ten years, was concerned that she would not get to keep their property, which is in her partner's name, after he has died from a terminal illness.

Property expert Emyr Pierce said that cohabiting couples have similar rights to spouses depending on the length of time they have been together.

However, Mr Pierce advised that the partner should write a will to ensure that the property can stay in her hands or that adequate financial provision is made.

The expert wrote: "To avoid any unnecessary dispute amongst family members, your partner should … make adequate provision for your security at the property. He need not leave the property to you outright if he has other relatives to whom he wishes to leave the property, but he can make suitable provision for you."

This could encourage cohabiting couples to make a DIY will to secure their partner's futures.

Unmarried couples are also advised to make a cohabitation agreement to give them legal protection in case they split up, as cohabiting couples don't have the same legal rights as married couples.

Posted by Christopher Evans

Published on: June 11, 2010

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