Let our family help your family save money – Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis Issues Warning to Couples Living Together – Lexology

by MoneySaverExpert

Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert and Good Morning Britain TV Presenter, has issued an unpleasant warning to couples who live together in the UK but do not marry or enter a Civil Partnership about the financial consequences of separation or death.

Martin Lewis has been busy this year warning about the energy crisis but he has recently warned that couples should protect themselves from the ‘three D’s’: death, divorce and dementia. Read more here.

Emma Hopkins-Jones, Partner and Head of the Family Team in Leeds and a member of Resolution’s Cohabitation Committee, says that many couples do not realise that there is no such thing as a common law marriage and if you live together without tying the knot, then there is no automatic right to inherit if your partner does not have a Will and if you separation, even after a very long relationship, it is possible for the financially stronger party to walk away from the relationship without financial responsibility for the other or for the financial consequences of decisions made together as a family.

A cross party group of MPs, sitting on the Women’s and Equalities Committee, published the Report in August of this year “The Rights of Cohabiting Partners” which found that the myth of common law marriage leaves disadvantaged groups disproportionately at risk when a relationship comes to an end.

Despite the number of couples living together as cohabitants having more than doubled in the past 25 years, a lack of legal protection means that upon relationship breakdown, or on death, the financial weaker party may have no automatic right to stay in or receive a share of the family home.

Emma says that there are steps that cohabiting partners can take to protect themselves, and their children, for the future. Preparing a Will is a must, as it is ensuring that your intentions with regard to any property lived in as a family home are properly reflected in a Declaration of Trust, either when you buy a property or further down the line. Emma says that many couples choose to enter into a Cohabitation Agreement which makes more detailed provision to set out what would happen in the event that the couple separate in the future. A cohabitant may be able to make a financial claim against the estate of their deceased partner. If there are children of the relationship, then it may be possible to make a financial claim for the benefit of children when a relationship breaks down, but the Orders that the Court can make are limited compared to the position on divorce.

It is vitally important that couples embarking on a new relationship, or separating at the end of a relationship, take specialist legal advice.

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