You And Your Partner Should Have A Legally Recognised Agreement!
Probate can become a lengthy and more difficult process to navigate when there are no contracts in place.
Do you and your partner have agreements over who owns the property you co-habit or shared ownership of children or the joint ownership of possessions you both enjoy? What happens to your rights if there is no contract in place?
Safeguarding Your Rights
How can you and your partner safeguard your rights in a de facto relationship? Simply stated, if you are in a de facto relationship with no contract, then you have no legal rights. Having a legal will can save many problems and upsets for your loved ones. When someone dies intestate it basically means they have no legal will leaving any assets such as property, investments and savings to be governed by the rules of intestate.
Probate Law And Rules Of Intestate
There are laws surrounding intestate that control how your property will be divided up and this means all your property from personal belongings, savings to property ownership.
If you are the surviving partner and are not married or in a civil partnership, you do not have automatic rights to inherit. The law treats married and cohabiting relationships differently. Here are the different types of relationships that are treated differently in law. In terms of rights to a partner’s property, couples who co-habit or live together, or co-habit, with no legal contract in place, have less rights than a married couple.
Civil Partnerships Legally Recognised
Civil partnerships are now recognised legal relationships with persons of the same sex and can be registered, thereby increasing legal rights and responsibilities, as this recognises the legality of the relationship. Civil partnerships can only be terminated by a court application after a period of 12 months of if one of the partner dies.
Often couples who live together decide to create a living together agreement or cohabitation contract to lay out their legal rights as regards certain areas. Such an agreement is recognised by the courts as long as it is an official agreement.
What makes an agreement legally binding?
Agreements are made by one person and then agreed to by another party and become official once they are accepted. This can be done by signing and posting them or emailing a receipt that these are accepted. There has to be a response from the party receiving the agreement to make it accepted. Contracts can be made verbally or in writing. Written contacts are usually known as simple or ‘underhand contracts’ or deeds. Simple, underhand contracts can be both verbal or signed and last for 6 years and written. Deed contracts, also known as under seal contracts, are always in writing, signed and witnessed and are effective for 12 years. Living together agreements are a simple and effective way of making sure you set out agreements for your relationship so they are recognised by the courts. Living together agreements can help you both to make decisions about joint ownership of property and possessions and shared ownership of children, if this is the case.
Getting sound legal advice regarding probate is important. Avery Associates can assist in these matters. It’s wise to safeguard your rights.