Couples living together
Currently in the UK there is a trend for couples to live together before they get married and in many cases with the rate of marriage declining many couples are choosing this option over getting married at all.
This may be a position which the couple feel suits them but in terms of certain legal issues it may not necessarily be the most beneficial situation.
What would be the scenario if one of the partners dies?
An issue which many couples may not realise when moving in together is that if one of the partners is to die without a will then under the rules in intestacy in England and Wales all of their property will either go to their parents or to their siblings.
Sole ownership of the property
The scenario could exist whereby a couple has been living together in a home for over 10 years but if the home is in the name of one of the partners or was bought by that partner then if there is no will in place the other partner could be left with nothing. This would mean that not only would that partner have to deal with the problem of the death of the other partner they would have no claim on the home they had worked so hard to build.
Tenants in common
Furthermore if a couple owns a property together as tenants in common upon the death of one of the partners the surviving partner will be able to keep their share of the property but under the intestacy rules the other half will go to a relative.
This second scenario may be better than the first but it may still leave the surviving partner in certain difficulties.
Is there any way around this potential problem?
For more information on:
- Joint Tenants
- Drafting a will
- A will should not only be concerned with the property market