The unmarried partner scenario

I’m not married, do I need a Will?


I have lost count of the number of times I have been told that I don’t need a Will, when in reality, this is not the case.


We have written lots of articles about reasons why people need a Will but addressing this point is important for a number of reasons.


We will start with a story which demonstrates perfectly the importance of Will planning when not married.


The story:


About 7 years ago I had a conversation about estate planning with a couple (not married) who were relatively young (in their early fifties). The couple had been married before and had children from their respective previous marriages. They lived in his home together and she didn’t own property. The gentleman told me that he didn’t have anything to do with his children and told them not to expect anything from him in the future. Both also told me that they would never marry again and were content living together. The truth is, it is not an uncommon scenario and becoming more prevalent in society today.


We discussed estate planning and putting Wills in place and the couple said that they would be putting something in place over the next few months. 


Sadly, and despite my best efforts they didn’t get around to planning and the gentleman died unexpectedly meaning that he died intestate (without a Will). This meant that his wishes for his partner to benefit and his wish to exclude his estranged children were disregarded. The property and his estate passed by intestacy to his children and his partner was ‘disinherited’. She no longer had a place to live and the children benefited instead.


This could have been avoided if they had taken the time to put some planning in place.

This is just one example of how Wills need to be put in place to benefit our unmarried partner but it also demonstrates that Wills are needed to make plans for excluding people from your estate too.


At SLS Wills and More we believe in complete transparency. We offer a no-obligation appointment. We share information about costs prior to the need for a decision and will provide advice enabling clients to make an informed decision, but, as the old saying goes “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink’.


Our advice is to seek professional advice whether or not you think you have a simple estate and to keep documents up to date.

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