A “common law” marriage exists in law – true or false?

If one partner dies without a Will their money and property passes to their “next of kin” as laid down by law. A common law partner gets nothing. The deceased’s estate goes to their children, if any, otherwise to the deceased’s close relatives. If there are none it goes to the Crown, completely ignoring the common law partner. This can have devastating financial and emotional consequences at a very difficult time.

The only option for the surviving partner is to claim on the deceased’s estate which may not produce the desired result and possibly only after lengthy and costly legal proceedings.

Cohabiting couples should protect their rights through cohabitation agreements, declarations of trust confirming the ownership and occupation of their shared home, and with properly prepared Wills.

If you live with your partner or plan to move in together, one of our specialist lawyers can advise on how to ensure you are legally protected.

Posted on Wed, 17/04/2019 - 16:51