No Will, No Way
Unmarried couples who have lived together for a long period of time often mistakenly believe that they are “common law” spouses and that on the death of one, the other will inherit. This is not the case, and especially where the partner who has died did not leave a Will.
In such circumstances, the estate of the deceased would pass under the intestacy rules not to the surviving partner but the deceased’s children or other members of their family, which may not be what was intended.
Whilst there might be means of redress for the surviving partner under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975 by the Court, re-distributing the estate of the deceased to make adequate provision for the surviving partner, this is a complex and often lengthy and expensive procedure at a time when the partner is still grieving and possibly without the resources they had come to rely on from the deceased.
Also, the provision that the Court might make under the Act is likely to be significantly less than might have been made under a Will (and also if the parties had been married).
Therefore, if you care for your partner and are concerned for their welfare in the event of your death, you should make sure that you have made a Will and that it makes proper provision for them.
Consult a solicitor!
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