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Lack of Awareness of Cohabiters’ Rights

New research has revealed a lack of awareness amongst cohabiting couples of what their legal rights would be should their partner pass away. 

According to the study, conducted by Direct Line Life Insurance, 38% of cohabiting couples say they are unaware of the legal position.

One in ten (11%) believe that if they own a home together, they would inherit their partner’s share of the property in the event of their death. However, in reality the situation isn’t as straight forward as that, particularly if the deceased hasn’t left a will. Despite this, less than a third (26%) of co-habiting partners have a will, compared to 52% of married couples, meaning their loved ones could be left in a vulnerable financial position in the event of their death.

One in twenty unmarried, cohabiting couples mistakenly believe that if their partner was to pass away, they would have immediate access to their money and possessions. In addition, one in twenty of those living with their partner assume they would have immediate access to their pension were they to die.

The research also found that millions of Brits haven’t chosen who would make decisions about their health, property or financial affairs were they to be tragically incapacitated through accident or illness. In fact, just 6% of Brits have a Lasting Power of Attorney, with a nominated person to help them make decisions or to make decisions on their behalf in the event they are unable to.

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