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middle aged couple

How a free will could save your partner money and hassle

If you aren’t married or in a civil partnership you run the risk of adding to your partner’s and other dependents’ heartache should you die without a will in place.

Whereas married couples and civil partners have greater protection under the law – ensuring they and their dependents will receive what’s owed them, unmarried or same sex couples don’t, meaning loved ones won’t automatically inherit.

Fortunately, March is 'Free Wills Month', where anyone over 55 can make or update a will for nothing. You just need to make an appointment and a participating solicitors.

Don’t die without a will …

The Law Society reckons more than a million unmarried and same sex couples who are not in a civil partnership are at risk of leaving their family and friends with all manner of legal hoops to jump through just when they least need it. And it’s not just their life partner who picks up the mess.

Say you have a child aged less than 18. You die and any assets passing to them will be held in trust until they reach adulthood. This means your partner could face a financial nightmare due to the lack of earnings or assets they could draw on to help them get by.

 

…Especially if you are co-habiting

The simplest way to avoid leaving your loved ones in a fiscal pickle is to draw up a will, so that your wishes are taken into account, rather than letting the government decide who will get your money. Without one they'll divide your estate among your relatives using a formula that would leave out your partner and their children.

It’s vitally important to have a will or ensure your partner has one. It may be an uncomfortable subject, but it’s worth staring to have the conversation while you are both healthy, and before something happens. 

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  • Fiona / 21 September 2015

    I made a will using Which?Will online. I've printed off some copies, signed them, and had them witnessed but I don't know what to do with them next.

  • Jiansi xia / 7 March 2015

    I need know more about free will