Martin Lewis issues warning to unmarried couples who live together to prevent them losing their homes
The MoneySavingExpert said those not married should get a contract to lawfully inherit their partner’s assets if they pass away - otherwise they could be at risk of losing them
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Martin Lewis has urged couples who live together but are not married to have financial arrangements in place to help manage their assets after death.
The MoneySavingExpert said partners should either get a will, civil partnership or some other form of contract to lawfully inherit their partner’s assets - because people who are not married or in a civil partnership have no status under inheritance law.
This means that if a loved-one was to pass away their partner may be at risk of losing an asset they assumed they would naturally inherit.
If you have no inheritance status, then if one partner dies the other may not get the house even if they’ve lived in it for several years, the Mirror reports.
Why are wills important?
In the latest MSE newsletter, founder Martin pressed the importance of a will, civil partnership or tying the knot, claiming that no matter the length and significance of the relationship, it has no status under inheritance law.
He highlighted the importance of wills and encouraged his readers to have the "unpleasant issues" chat with friends and family.
Thousands of people die each year without a will, leaving loved ones with complex issues to work through along with their grief.
Martin said that it’s important to chat about the possibility of dying and being "candid" and "blunt" when considering the implications.
He added that those who are not married, have dependent children or are concerned about inheritance tax should consider writing a will.
What other advice did Martin Lewis give to couples?
He also encouraged couples to consider a cohabitation agreement if they’re unmarried but living together.
Rules differ slightly across the UK nations, but all say exactly what each partner is entitled to if they split up.
The MoneySavingExpert 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."
The agreement may provide protection from financial abuse.
Martin Lewis added: "Cohabitation agreements are strongest if both partners have had independent legal advice and haven’t signed under duress."