However, where a couple are married, but one of the spouses dies without a Will, the law ensures that unless the couple are particularly wealthy, the survivor of the two goes on to inherit most, if not all, of the assets owned by their deceased spouse.
This is called the law of intestacy.
However, the law does NOT provide the same benefit for an unmarried couple, where one of them dies. What happens? Those assets solely owned by the deceased partner pass, not to the surviving partner, but onto any children of the deceased. If there are no children, then the assets pass to the deceased's parents, or to their brothers and sisters.
This could be particularly distressing if the deceased partner solely owned the house. The cohabiting partner has no right to live in the house, which will also pass to the beneficiaries as above.
The surviving partner is left having to claim from the estate of their deceased partner – an expensive and traumatic process at such a difficult time.
Contact Phoenix Wills and Probate and we’ll talk you through how you can ensure your partner will inherit all you would wish them to.