Anyone who was a fan of The Good Life, will be saddened to hear today, of the death of Richard Briers who played Tom. Paul Eddington (Jerry), died quite a few years ago. That officially leaves Penelope Keith (Margo) and Felicity Kendal (Barbara). DB and I think of ourselves as Tom and Barbara, he is often to be heard whistling that little ditty that Tom did.
In real life, women generally, but not always, outlive men. If you are married or in a civil relationship and your partner dies without leaving a will, things whilst being difficult to cope with, will not be all doom and gloom as shown here in this extract:
Married partners and civil partnersMarried partners or civil partners inherit under the rules of intestacy only if they are actually married or in a civil partnership at the time of death. So if you are divorced or if your civil partnership has been legally ended, you can’t inherit under the rules of intestacy. But partners who separated informally can still inherit under the rules of intestacy.
If there are surviving children, grandchildren or great grandchildren of the person who died and the estate is valued at more than £250,000, the partner will inherit:
all the personal property and belongings of the person who has died, and the first £250,000 of the estate, and a life interest in half of the remaining estate. This means that if you are entitled to the life interest, you cannot get rid of or spend that part of the estate. You can, however, have the benefit of it during your lifetime.
However, if you are simply living with someone and they die intestate (without leaving a will) you are probably going to have many problems to deal with at a time when quite frankly, you could do without them.
Who cannot inherit
The following people have no right to inherit where someone dies without leaving a will:
Unmarried partners, lesbian or gay partners who are not in a civil partnership, relations by marriage, close friends and/or carers.
If children are involved, it gets even more complicated. If you want to find out more, then go to this page here.
My topic for discussion today is due to knowing people who find themselves in such a predicament. For example, I know someone who has children by a previous relationship (not marriage). She seems to be under the illusion that she will inherit everything from her ex partner because of the children, she couldn't be more wrong. He hasn't made a will and has no intention of doing so.
I know many people personally as well as those whose blog's I read, who are living in these relationships. Nothing wrong with that at all providing each has made a will. If you haven't, I suggest you seriously think about it. Never think you are not old enough or that you don't have anything to leave or it will never happen to you because it will.
I'm not advocating getting married as many people have done that and got the scars to prove it. Each to their own. I'm simply reminding folk to think hard about what they would do should their common law partner die. Would you be able to stay in the home? If you have never worked, how would you support yourself? Would you be entitled to any of his pension (this is still something you can deal with as well before anything happens). Would any of his National Insurance payments be transferable to you?
It is also too easy to think that it will be primarily the female dealing with all of this - not so. You also need to make a will to enable your DB to benefit after you have gone.
Expected death is one thing. You may have the chance to discuss things and still get them sorted out in time. An unexpected or self inflicted death is quite another kettle of fish. You will have no warning, no time, no property or financial expectations!
Don't keep fooling yourself it will all be alright. Sort it out whilst you can.