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Cohabitation Awareness Week

THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING A WILL IF YOU ARE COHABITING

In today’s society more people are cohabiting and less people are getting married.

The majority of people believe that when they have lived with someone for a certain period of time they are automatically entitled to inherit their partner’s estate when they pass away. This is often referred to as the common law man and wife but there is no such thing. Cohabitees are not automatically entitled to their Partner’s estate (unless they have been nominated to benefit from an asset upon death) and it would, in fact, pass through the intestacy rules, ie spouse, children and so forth.

If cohabiting couples do not make Wills it can cause many complications when one of them passes away, such as; :-

  • Property being held as Tenants in Common (the person entitled to benefit will own a half share in your property)
  • The surviving Partner being left without any money
  • Family members that you have not had contact with for years or that you do not get on with inheriting all of your partners assets

If you die without making a will, your partner may be able to bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 on the basis that “reasonable financial provision” has not been made for them but there are specific requirements in order to qualify for eligibility to bring a claim under this Act.

The Courts take many matters into account when considering an application made under the Act and your partner could be awarded a considerably lesser sum than that you would wish for them to receive.

Court proceedings can be very stressful, costly and may damage relationships between your cohabitee and your family.

For these reasons it is, therefore, far better to make provision for your cohabitee by making a will, if you wish to make provision for them when you die. Our specialist will team will be happy to assist in ensuring your wishes are met. Contact us on 0121-553-3286 or e-mail reception@baches.co.uk

Obtaining Probate – Executors/Administrators Role. – Getting it right.

We are often approached by Executors named in a Will or the Next of Kin, for help in dealing with the assets and estate of a loved one.

More recently, we are increasingly being approached by Executors, who have started to administrate the estate themselves but then found it difficult to manage or found that certain complications had arisen.

When dealing with the administration of an estate there are a number of factors to consider to ensure the estate is dealt with correctly. For instance, it may turn out that the deceased had assets you are not aware of, they may have made a Will or later Will or may have debts they never disclosed to you. As the Executor, the duty falls on you to make sure that you have made every effort to identify these matters. Failure to do so could result in you being personally liable to the beneficiaries and/or to the creditors.

Fortunately, here at Baches, we are able to recommend the following services to help you identify the appropriate issues, and to minimize your personal risk:-

  • Carrying out a Will Search
  • Carrying out an Asset search
  • Placing notices in the London Gazette and local paperwork – to ensure the Executor/Administrator is not personally liable for creditors or beneficiaries coming to light after the estate is distributed
  • Carrying out bankruptcy searches against all beneficiaries – as any estate due to such beneficiary who has been identified has bankrupt should not be paid to them.

These are some factors to consider, to name a few, to prevent any claims against Executors personally for not discharging duties correctly.

Here at Baches, our experience private client team can ensure that the administration of the estate of a loved one is managed correctly to ensure peace of mind so the Executor has no fall back on them.

Please feel free to give us a call so that we can discuss any concerns that you may have on 0121 553 3286 or reception@baches.co.uk.

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