Cohabitation Agreement Uk Inheritance

Cohabitation Agreement UK Inheritance: Protecting Your Assets in Unmarried Relationships

In the UK, more and more couples are choosing to live together without getting married. While cohabitation offers many benefits, it also comes with significant risks. Unlike married couples, couples who live together without being married do not have the same legal protections. One of the greatest risks is the lack of inheritance rights. In the event of one partner passing away, the surviving partner may not have the same rights to the deceased partner`s assets as they would if they were married. This is where a cohabitation agreement can be invaluable.

What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

A cohabitation agreement is a legally binding document that sets out the terms of a couple`s relationship when they are living together without being married. The agreement can cover a range of issues, including property ownership, finances, and inheritance rights. By having a cohabitation agreement in place, you can protect your assets in the event of a breakup or the death of one partner.

Inheritance Rights for Cohabitants in the UK

When one partner in a cohabiting relationship passes away, the other partner may not automatically have the right to inherit the deceased partner`s assets. Unlike married couples, cohabitants do not have automatic inheritance rights. Instead, the surviving partner would need to make a claim to the courts to be granted the right to inherit. This can be a lengthy and expensive process, and there is no guarantee that the claim will be successful.

By having a cohabitation agreement in place, you can ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. For example, you could stipulate that your partner has the right to inherit your assets if you pass away, or you could specify that your assets should be inherited by other family members.

What Should a Cohabitation Agreement Cover?

A cohabitation agreement should cover all the important aspects of your relationship. This can include:

– Who owns what: This section should outline who owns which assets, such as property, vehicles, and investments.

– Financial arrangements: This section should cover how bills and other expenses will be paid, as well as any joint accounts or shared debts.

– Inheritance rights: This section should set out who will inherit your assets in the event of your death, and how they will be distributed.

– Relationship arrangements: This section should outline any expectations around the relationship, such as whether you plan to have children or get married in the future.

How to Create a Cohabitation Agreement

Creating a cohabitation agreement is a straightforward process. It is advisable to seek legal advice when creating the agreement to ensure that it is legally binding. Both partners should have their own legal representation to ensure that the agreement is fair and reasonable to both parties.


In conclusion, a cohabitation agreement is an essential tool for protecting your assets when living together without being married. If you are in a cohabiting relationship and want to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, consider creating a cohabitation agreement. This will provide you with peace of mind and protect your assets in the event of a breakup or the death of one partner.