Avery Associates, specialists in all matters concerning valuations for probate bring you the latest IHT news……….
The Law Commission has produced a draft bill suggesting that the law is changed in relation to cohabiting couples who are unmarried.
Currently under UK law, if a cohabiting member of a couple dies, the surviving partner does not have any inheritance rights in the same way that a married couple or a couple in a civil partnership has.
However, despite this being the reality, many cohabiting couples believe that if their partner dies they will automatically inherit their estate even without a will being made.
It has been suggested that as many as a third of cohabiting couples who are unmarried die without inheritance rights because of this law, although there are no official figures.
At the moment, under current law, partners who were cohabiting can make claims on the estate of their partner if they die, but the process can be expensive and time consuming.
Now the Law Commission says that cohabiting couples should have the same rights as married couples.
It is thought that this draft bill has been made due to a change in the public perception of cohabitation. Whereas even just a few decades ago it was still considered unacceptable, now many couples cohabit and never marry.
However, the Government has not said when it will respond to the draft bill, and there are no signs that anything will change soon.
As a result, if the law is not changed by the government then it is considered a very good idea to make a will and memorandum if you are currently in a cohabiting relationship.
For professional advice call Jeffrey Avery on 0800 567 7769