The Growing Trend of Cohabiting Couples
  • Helen Claydon

The Growing Trend of Cohabiting Couples





In today’s society a traditional family unit is not the same as it was ten years ago. Family dynamics have changed and the way we live is much different.


As a result, the Office for National Statistics has found that the number of cohabiting couples has grown and is continuing to grow. In the ten years between 2008 and 2018, there has been an increase of 25.8% in cohabiting couples. As it stands, they are growing at a faster rate than married couples and lone-parent families.


So, to breakdown the families in the UK in 2018, it looked like this:

● 12.8 million families consisted of married couples

● 3.4 million families consisted of cohabiting couples

● 2.9 million families consisted of lone parents


In August 2019, the Office for National Statistics also indicated that the number of people who live alone has increased to 8 million from 7.7 million people in 2017. This is mainly in the groups of women who are aged between 45 and 64 years as well as men who are aged between 65 and 74 years.


Despite these changes, the legislation surrounded entitlement to an estate after someone has died remains the same. Only spouses (though this does include civil partners) are automatically entitled to inherit when their husband or wife passes away. Unmarried partners are not entitled to inherit.



Why Should You Keep Your Will Up-to-Date?

Through your Will you can ensure that these archaic rules are not applied to your estate so that you can ensure your partner will benefit. This will avoid your partner being left in financial difficulty at a time when they are grieving.


Until the legislation catches up with modern living it is vitally important that you document your wishes in a legally binding way so that they can be followed. Failure to make your wishes clear and binding could result in family fallouts, uncertainty and further costs to your estate. The simple act of having a Will in place can easily resolve this.



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