In the past 12 months the laws for those who die intestate, in other words without a will underwent an overhaul but what remained is that for those in so-called ‘common-law’ marriages - they will still not be entitled to anything.
An urban myth exists regarding the so-called rights of couples living under the same roof without any legally binding contract. The rights surrounding dying intestate is just one of them.
Many legal experts and others besides have called for partners in unmarried relationships to have stronger rights, especially if they had been together for many years, but this has not happened.
Under the current rules, co-habitees have no automatic right to receive anything even if they had children together.
So regardless of society’s views, it remains as it did in our grandparents generation that the only way to ensure that some of your lifetime assets will go to your partner is to get married or make a will detailing your wishes.
The recent rule changes haven’t affected people who die with less than £250,000 in assets. However, for those estates above this figure it could have a huge effect on those left behind.
We are hopeful that we have helped highlight for the good of families that it’s time to make a will, and give peace of mind to your loved ones.