Unmarried Partners Can Inherit Nothing if there is No Will

Author:
Jonathan Maskew
Head of Probate, Wills, Trusts and Court of Protection
Date:
18/06/2020

If your partner becomes ill and dies suddenly, for example from Covid-19, it will turn your world upside down. If they didn’t make a Will, you could face a very costly legal battle, arguments with family members and serious financial loss.

Thankfully, our Will writing services allow you to make a Will from home. Through our partner Bequeathed Ltd, you can now make a free online Will. This will be a simple or basic Will which isn’t seen or reviewed by a Solicitor.

We also offer Fixed Fees for a Solicitor drafted Will which costs £240 +VAT, or a Solicitor assisted Will, where you make your Will online, then when it’s done, the Will is checked by a Solicitor which costs £120 +VAT.

For complete details see Costs for our Will Writing Services.

What Happens when Someone Dies without Making a Will?

In England and wales, they are categorised as an Intestacy Person and their Estate and assets will legally belong to their next of kin - usually a blood relative like a parent, sibling or child. When you’re married, your partner becomes the main beneficiary. Unlike a married couple, a cohabiting (living together) partner won’t automatically inherit their partner’s Estate when they die.

If your unmarried partner dies, you have 6 months to make a claim against the Estate. This is a very short space of time and can be a lot to deal with at such a stressful and emotional time. Because of this and inheritance laws called the Rules of Intestacy, we recommend that you get legal advice from a Lawyer or a Solicitor as soon as you can.

What Can a Cohabiting Partner Claim?

The maximum amount you can receive is what you would get if you were married. This will be different for every person because it is based on your partner’s assets. Our Wills and Trusts Solicitors can value your partner’s Estate and provide you with a better understanding of how much you have the right to claim. But, it will be up to the Courts to decide how much you can receive from your deceased partner’s Estate.

If your partner left a valid Will, but you are not named in it, it can be a very difficult situation to work through. You could make an Inheritance Act Claim if you can prove that you were financially dependent on your partner before their death.

Making a Will Online

We have partnered with Bequeathed Ltd to provide a simple and easy to use online Wills Service. You and your partner can make a Will from the comfort of your own home in under an hour.

Our online Wills service offers you three ways to make a Will:

  • An Expertly Guided Will - This is our free online Will writing service through Bequeathed. You won’t speak to a Solicitor and it is ideal for a simple Will that leaves your Estate to select beneficiaries.
  • Solicitor Assisted Will - If you feel that you need to speak to a Solicitor, your Expertly Guided Will becomes a Solicitor Assisted Will. We can advise you on more complicated matters, for example if you have a child with an unmarried partner or you have property abroad. This process of making a Will is still done online, but a Wills and Trusts Solicitor will review your Will before you sign it.
  • Fully Protected - You complete your Will online and one of our Wills and Trusts Solicitors will review it before you sign. You also get 2 Lasting Powers of Attorney in our “fully protected” Fixed Fee package which costs £600 +VAT.

When you choose to make a free online Will through Bequeathed Ltd, you will not have the same protections as a direct client of Simpson Millar. We are a Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) regulated firm and Bequeathed Ltd is a separate business.

We offer an online Will Checking Service where our expert Solicitors will look through your Will before you sign. This is all done remotely so you can take full advantage of writing a Will online and know that your Will is legal and valid. If you have any questions, please contact us.

It’s never nice to think about a future without your partner, but it’s even more upsetting to think about your partner struggling after you’ve gone. Making a Will is the only way to provide security for your partner and make sure that your wishes are fulfilled; after you pass away.

For free legal advice call our Wills & Trusts Solicitors

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