My partner and I have been together for 6 years and although we’re not civilly married, I was wondering what our rights were in case of an accident or death. We currently rent and don’t own our house, but we do have various other assets such as stocks and savings. Neither of us have made a will. What would happen to the surviving partner if the worst was to happen? Would my assets go directly to him?
Thank you for your time
Steve N. Tunbridge Wells
The simple answer is no. Currently co-habiting partners have no (automatic) legal right to inheritance from their Partner’s estate unless such inheritance is granted in a Will. Only assets that are held Jointly (such as Joint Bank Accounts) will pass to the surviving Partner by the process of Survivorship and requires the simple removal of the deceased Partner’s name from the account etc; such assets are not affected by the presence (nor contents) of any Will. In the case where the deceased Partner left no Will (or a defective/invalid Will) all assets held in the deceased Partner’s sole name will pass according to the Laws of Intestacy. The Laws of Intestacy stipulate who will inherit the estate in a strict order of priority of blood relatives, spouse/civil partner, children, parents, siblings and so on and so forth, co-habiting Partners do not feature in this list!
My advice would be to always seek professional advice of a Solicitor to draw up appropriate “Mirror” Wills to ensure that the loved ones left behind are not unwittingly disinherited through inaction.
This response is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice, and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. Individuals should always seek legal advice from a professional which is specific to their unique set of circumstances.
More About The Author
You can find out more about Matt at http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/matt-parr/37/373/135
Matt works with individuals and their families to help them negotiate the many pitfalls they can encounter when planning for their future by providing pragmatic, bespoke advice. Being a member of the LGBTQ community himself, Matt is particularly keen to ensure that he offers an open door for those within the community wishing to obtain advice without fear of judgment or discrimination.
Matt advises his clients on tax-efficient estate planning options which could include the preparation of wills, trusts, deeds of gift and deeds of variation. As well as administering estates and preparing lasting powers of attorney. Furthermore, Matt also works with organisations wishing to become charities or alter their organisation’s structure.
– Fully qualified member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners
– Currently undertaking a diploma to obtain the Advanced Certificate in will preparation
– Accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly
– Dementia Friend
and works for Shakespeare Martineau