According to the Office for National Statistics, there are now 3.3 million cohabiting couples in the UK. This is a dramatic increase from 1996 when just 1.5 million unmarried couples lived together.

One of the side effects of this increase in cohabiting couples is that fewer people have their inheritance rights protected by law. Contrary to popular belief, even long-term partners don’t have an automatic right to inherit in the UK. This means that millions of people may lose out if their partner dies without leaving a will.

If you live with your partner but aren’t married or in a civil partnership, writing a will is absolutely essential. If you don’t put your wishes down in writing, you won’t get to decide what happens to your hard-earned money after you die.

Cohabiting couples

More and more people in the UK are choosing to live together rather than get married or enter inter a civil partnership. Although on a day-to-day basis, this won’t really have an impact on their relationship, legally, it makes a big difference.

In the eyes of the law, cohabiting couples don’t have a lot of rights, especially when it comes to inheritance. In fact, unless they’ve written a will, unmarried couples won’t necessarily inherit anything at all from their other half in the case of their death. Instead, money and assets will pass to the deceased’s closest living relatives. If no relatives can be found, the estate passes to the treasury.

How a will can protect your partner in the event of your death

If you write a will, you can leave your money and property to whomever you want. If you live with a long-term partner, a will allows you to leave all, or part of, your estate to them after you die. This could include your savings, your property and any other assets you own.

If you have children with your partner, but aren’t married, your children will inherit everything you own. If they’re under 18, your estate will be held in a trust for them until they come of age.

How to make a will

Creating a will is very straightforward. The easiest way to create a legal will is to use the services of a specialist law firm. They’ll be able to ensure the document is written and processed correctly and will be able to advise you on the most important things to include.

Many good-quality law firms offer free legal advice when it comes to creating a will, so why not get in touch with your local specialists and start the ball rolling today?

Find out more about creating legal wills quickly and easily by getting in touch with a member of our expert team.