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Legal protection for unmarried SAHMs

(261 Posts)
lilyaldrin Sun 01-Dec-13 22:03:56

Basically, what do I need to do to confer the same financial/legal protection as marriage would?

We have joint children and although we don't currently own property together, we hope to in the next few years.

First thing I'm tackling is wills leaving everything to each other. What next?

SatinSandals Sun 01-Dec-13 22:14:20

I would visit a solicitor and get proper legal advice.

LadyAlconleigh Sun 01-Dec-13 22:16:36

Get married? It really IS the simplest and best option. I don't mean have a wedding.

Quoteunquote Sun 01-Dec-13 22:18:45

Well when we looked into it, concidering all implications, we after sixteen years together, and not interested in the slightest with the marriage thing, came quickly to the conclusion, that the cheapest and most effective way to deal with all the eventualities was to do the deed, took the afternoon off work, and got wed, and kept very quite about it.

LadyAlconleigh Sun 01-Dec-13 22:19:35

I personally don't understand why people would have children together but no go through the simple, short and cheap process of formalising their relationship and protecting their rights.

LittleBearPad Sun 01-Dec-13 22:23:38

Get married. It's the easiest way to achieve what you want.

FeisMom Sun 01-Dec-13 22:26:23

You can't confer the same legal status, even with £££ at a solicitor I'm afraid.

You don't need the wedding, but you do need to be married.

As a SAHM you are extremely vulnerable should anything go wrong.

SatinSandals Sun 01-Dec-13 22:26:44

It is much cheaper to get married, you can just pop to the registry office and find 2 witnesses. A solicitor charges a lot.

friday16 Sun 01-Dec-13 22:27:43

what do I need to do to confer the same financial/legal protection as marriage would?

Why not get married? It costs, what, fifty quid? Takes about half an hour? Why muck around with complex legal documents that will cost a fortune when your local register office will sort it out for buttons?

Hulababy Sun 01-Dec-13 22:29:05

There are ecrtain things you can't achieve, even through legal work. I mean things like financial benefits in the event of a spouse's death, etc.

LadyAlconleigh Sun 01-Dec-13 22:31:59

I was chatting to my friend today. She is not married and all her kids are adults. She is not his next of kin - they are. If they were.t adults, his parents would be. I know everyone doesn't "agree" with the idea of marriage, but in the current legal set up it really IS the best way to be if you have children and/or property.

The whole point of marriage is actually to get those legal protections. That's what marriage is actually for. As such, it's the only way to actually get them all.

WhatTheHellIsHappening Sun 01-Dec-13 22:33:50

Really, getting married is the only thing. I'm married. Only three people (aside from us two) actually know tbh (+ the people doing formalities). No wedding or big ceremony.

MostWicked Sun 01-Dec-13 22:40:02

Just get married. Much cheaper and more effective than anything a solicitor could do.
I cannot understand why anyone would choose not to if they were committed to each other.

Squiffyagain Sun 01-Dec-13 22:41:57

I don't believe in marriage. I like my maiden name, I wear no rings, house is in my name.

Been married since we had kids. Prompted by seeing a distraught neighbour lose the family home after his partner died (because of inheritance tax), and then to top it all he had to go to court to officialise his parental rights as his partners mother bizarrely tried to claim custody.

Just do it.

hoppinghare Sun 01-Dec-13 22:45:15

I'm also going to say you should get married. You basically want all that marriage entails so get married. You don't have to have a wedding.

Gilberte Sun 01-Dec-13 22:47:16

If you are not married, is the mother's position more powerful than the father's? I know laws on parental responsibility have changed though so this might not still be the case.

I have a friend from another country who has split from her husband but can never go back to her home country with her son to live (without husband's consent which he won't give). If she hadn't of married, I think she would have been able to leave the country with him. But I may be wrong.

wodalingpengwin Sun 01-Dec-13 22:48:41

Get married. Marriage IS the legal contract which gives you those rights.

lilyaldrin Sun 01-Dec-13 22:49:46

I agree that getting married would be easiest, but as that isn't going to happen I'm really interested in what I can do otherwise.

First step - wills leaving whole estate to each other. What else should I consider?

Gilberte Sun 01-Dec-13 22:52:26

"Prompted by seeing a distraught neighbour lose the family home after his partner died (because of inheritance tax)"

Excuse my ignorance of the law (I should google)Do you have to pay inheritance tax if you both own the house and it is willed to you by the other owner?

paperlantern Sun 01-Dec-13 22:53:47

no no no.angry

do not rely on mumsnet for this. Talk to a solicitor, also ask them about joint responsibility for a spouses (individual) debt.

wish to god I had never got married. The pretty awesome legal protection I had before I got married went to hell in a handcart once I said I do.

The solicitors bills to tie things up now may seem hefty. but I can guarantee a difficult divorce is more costly financially and emotionally.

friday16 Sun 01-Dec-13 22:53:59

I don't believe in marriage. I like my maiden name, I wear no rings, house is in my name. Been married since we had kids.

Indeed. There is something faintly pitiful about watching adults with children making some huge deal about not being married, as though it makes them into dangerous revolutionaries and we're all supposed to be either admiring of their principled stand or impressed by how radical they are. If you don't see it as anything other than a legal contract, then it's a cheap and easy way of obtaining a legal contract. Many of the protections it offers are available via other routes (especially now you can get healthcare LPoAs) but rounding up the whole suite so you have mutual ability to sign for healthcare, mutual assured rights over the children in the event of one death, mutual rights over pension and life assurance, etc, etc, is a grand's worth of paper at least (setting up and registering the interlocking EPoAs could easily cost that alone). And some of the protections it offers (for example, transfer of assets on death without payment of IHT, or the transfer of assured tenancies) are only available with marriage or civil partnership.

SatinSandals Sun 01-Dec-13 22:57:10

You don't need to ask on here, you need to pay a solicitor, there are all sorts of considerations that you don't realise until a crisis.

WaitMonkey Sun 01-Dec-13 22:57:20

Really, marriage is the best idea. Is there a reason you can't marry ? Sorry, don't answer if you don't want to.

friday16 Sun 01-Dec-13 22:59:08

Do you have to pay inheritance tax if you both own the house and it is willed to you by the other owner?

It depends on the terms of ownership. If you hold a house as tenants in common (ie, you each own a defined share, usually half) and you die, then if your esate including your share of the house is worth more than the IHT threshold (currently 325k) then IHT is payable. It's not necessarily payable immediately, and there are means to delay payment or pay it in instalments over, iirc, ten years. And of course you finesse the issue by holding the house as joint tenants, although that brings its own issues.

But if you hold a house as tenants in common, as is usual for unmarried couples, and your house is worth more than 650k, which is hardly rare in London, then the death of one partner will instantly take you into IHT, even if the payment of it does not have to be similarly instant.

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