Couples who have children outside of marriage face inheritance difficulties without a will and are being urged to take action now by Chester based Bartletts Solicitors to avoid this situation. Not everyone will be aware that the present law states that any money and assets belonging to an unmarried parent who passes away without a will is held in trust for the children and the surviving parent receives nothing. This is why unmarried couples need to make a will, especially in light of recent news regarding birth rates – almost 50% of babies born in 2012 were to unmarried mothers and if this trend continues then by 2016 the majority of children will be born out of wedlock. There is now increased pressure on the Government to show its support for the institution of marriage by providing tax breaks for married couples. Not only would unmarried couples be financially poorer if this happened, but this would be on top of possible inheritance complications stemming from a lack of a will. Without a will, the unmarried partner of the deceased parent would need a Court Order to inherit any assets and would have to prove their level of financial dependency on the deceased. “It is so important for unmarried parents to make a will because it offers them and their children protection for the future,” says Nina Sperring of Chester based Bartletts Solicitors. “Unlike married couples without a will, widowed partners won’t inherit any of their partner’s money or assets without a Court Order. “For unmarried couples, the grieving parent could be left in financial trouble and struggling to provide for their children if their partner dies without making a will. “Applying Court for a Court Order to request a share of the inheritance is stressful, time consuming and costly – not something any grieving partner should have to go through. Furthermore, it may not prove successful and if the couple hasn’t been together for a minimum of two years then the surviving parent is unlikely to be able to make an application in the first place.” For information on making a will, contact our Wills, Trust and Probate Team today who will offer guidance based on your individual circumstances to ensure your family’s future is protected.