Unmarried couples 'must make wills'

It is essential that unmarried couples write a will and testament if they want their partner to inherit their assets when they die.

In an article for Money Week, staff writer Ruth Jackson explained that cohabiters are in a much more vulnerable position than their married counterparts when it comes to intestacy law.

When a married person dies without a will, their spouse will automatically inherit some or all of their assets.

However, when an unmarried person dies, they are treated as a single individual, regardless of how long they had been with their partner.

Instead, their estate will go to their children, if they have any, and their parents, followed by siblings, grandparents and other relatives.

Drawing up a will is therefore vital for unmarried individuals who want their partner to be their main beneficiary.

However, that is not to say that writing a will is not important for married people too. Under intestacy laws, assets may not be divided exactly in accordance with a person's wishes.

For example, they may want their children to be the main beneficiaries, or for their grandchildren to receive set sums of money, so it is important to put instructions down legally on paper.

Posted by Christopher Evans

Published on: September 9, 2010

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