A will for Valentine’s Day?! The thoroughly unromantic pitfalls of the unmarried couple

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Are you planning to propose this Valentine’s Day? Or are you one of the thousands of couples who have decided that marriage isn’t for you?

There’s no question that more and more of us are choosing to live together rather than tie the traditional knot. In fact this is one of the fastest growing family segments in the UK.

And those of us that do get round to planning a wedding seem to be leaving it later and later, with more and more of us getting married in our mid to late 30s.

In fact, having your own offspring in the bridal procession seems to be pretty much par for the course these days too.

This is all well and good. But the problem with it is that from a practical point of view it leaves 1000s of families up and down the UK in a very precarious financial position.

Ok so not the most romantic sentiment for Valentine’s Day but there you go.Unmarried couples need to be aware that without the legal protection of a marriage certificate they are essentially non-related.

Therefore, regardless of how many years they have been living together, they will never inherit from each other without a written Will.

This is especially dangerous in situations where unmarried couples share a property. Think about it. What would happen if your partner died? Who would suddenly own half of your house?

Your partner’s parents? Brothers? Cousins?It happens all too often. You only need look up the tragic case of the Swedish author Stig Larsson’s.

Dying suddenly without a Will meant that his estate passed to his estranged brother and father, leaving his long-standing partner of more than 30 years with absolutely nothing to retire on when she probably should have had millions. Tragic.

If you are an unmarried couple with children or property you simply must have a conversation with a Will writer to get your affairs in order.

You need to think about your children and make sure that you name guardians should something happen to you both. You also need to consider taking out a Lasting Power of Attorney so that one of you can act on the other’s behalf should you become sick or incapacitated.

Finally you need to be aware that as an unmarried couple you are considerably disadvantaged when it comes to our Inheritance Tax Laws, so not taking care of this in your Will could end up costing you tens of thousands of pounds.

Speak to a member of Hillman Legal Wills team today and we can run you through all your options.

While not the most romantic Valentine’s gift it could end up being on the best things you have ever done for each other.