Martin Lewis Issues Warning To All Couples Living Together In The UK
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Martin Lewis has issued advice to all couples who are living together in the UK.
Speaking about the financial complications that can arise from living with a partner but not being legally bound together, the Money Saving Expert has urged couples who haven’t gotten (or don’t want to get) married with some important advice to avoid any legal wrangles down the line.
In his latest Money Saving Expert newsletter, Lewis has drawn attention to the complications that can arise for partners who live together and aren't married.
Lewis explained that if the idea of marriage is no-go for you, it can be very useful to enter a civil partnership or write a clear will or contract so your partner can have easier - and lawful - access to all your assets should one of you pass away.
Unfortunately, the archaic inheritance laws in the UK currently mean that a partner has no automatic legal status unless they are in a civil partnership or married to their significant other, meaning that if one of you were to pass away the other could end up with nothing.
For example, even if you'd both lived together and shared a home for years, it would not rightfully pass to the surviving partner unless legally tied to them.
While it’s certainly not the most pleasant topic to broach, Lewis stressed just how necessary it is to deal with such 'unpleasant issues' and to be as 'blunt' and 'candid' as possible.
Ultimately if you were to shuffle off unexpectedly, you’d want your loved ones to be taken care of, so it’s best to get the chat out of the way and come to an agreement, which could be a will, marriage or civil partnership.
Martin Lewis Couples AdviceLoading
This way it means your significant other, or child, or whoever you want to leave your estate to won’t have to worry on top of (presumably) grieving your loss!
And for another situation, Lewis has also advised partners to draw up a 'cohabitation agreement' which can make financial matters easier if you and your partner separate (while still both alive).
Lewis said: “If you live with your partner, but are neither married nor in a civil partnership, you may want to consider drawing up a 'cohabitation agreement' in addition to writing a will.
“While a will determines what happens to your assets and belongings once you die, a cohabitation agreement spells out what happens if your relationship breaks down - so a bit like a will for the living."
Such an agreement can also protect from financial abuse and is 'strongest if both partners have had independent legal advice and haven't signed under duress'.
Another thing to consider is appointing what’s known as a ‘Power of Attorney’ which gives someone the legal authority to make important decisions on your behalf should you be diagnosed with an illness such as dementia or you suffer from a stroke and lose the mental capacity to make decisions by yourself.
A bit grim, admittedly, but sound advice nonetheless!
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