Law Commission considers proposals to aid cohabitants.

21 November 2012

The Law Commission have recently published new proposals to give more rights to the surviving partner and children of unmarried couples. The proposals include: – the simplification of sharing of assets on intestacy where the deceased was survived by a spouse and children or other descendants – allowing unmarried partners who have lived together for 5 years the right to inherit on each other's death under the intestacy rules, if the couple have children, this right will arise after 2 years where the child was living with the couple when the person died. Until such a time as the proposals are formalised and agreed to in legislation, the current intestacy rules will continue to operate. As such, cohabitants should consider making a Will, so that their assets pass to those whom they would want it to go to on their deaths. Additionally, cohabitants do not currently enjoy the spouse exemption for inheritance tax purposes and a double charge to tax can arise even where a simple Will is left. However, with a tax efficient Will this double charge can be avoided. For more information on preparing your Will please complete our Enquiry Form, contact us on 01245 228122 or The above is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.