Q&A Do we need to make Wills if me and my partner are not married?

Q:      I have been living with my partner for five years. I moved in with him and he owns the house. I want him to make a Will because he has a motorbike and goes off on long road trips with his friends and I worry what would happen to me and my two boys if he got killed. He says nobody in their thirties makes a Will and the house would be mine anyway if he dies, because we are common law partners. My dad says this isn’t how it works. Please can you confirm?

A:       Unfortunately, unless you are married or in a civil partnership the law says you would be entitled to absolutely nothing from your partner’s estate if he were to die intestate, i.e. without making a Will.

In the case of a couple who are not married or in a civil partnership and do not have children, the law treats both partners as single people and orders that the deceased’s entire estate should go to their blood relatives if they have not made a Will. First in line are the parents of the deceased, then their siblings and then their nieces and nephews.

If a couple are not married or in a civil partnership and they have children, the children would be the first blood relatives in line. This can be particularly problematic if one or both partners have children from a previous relationship, because the children of the deceased would inherit the deceased’s entire estate, and the surviving partner and their offspring would get nothing.

There really is no financial protection for surviving partners who are not married or in a civil partnership unless the deceased partner has made a Will. It would therefore be wise for both you and your partner to make Wills now. If there is any change in your circumstances later on, you should update your Will to reflect this.

This question has been answered by Ulia Choudhry, a Solicitor with GHP Legal.  If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients.  Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email. If you have a new enquiry or for an appointment visit www.ghplegal.com or contact one of our offices: Wrexham 01978 291456, Llangollen 01978 860313, Oswestry 01691 659194 

Ulia Choudhry

Ulia Choudhry


Ulia is a Partner who specialises in Probate, Wills, Trusts and Tax and is based in Wrexham