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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?

scottishmummy Sun 01-Dec-13 22:59:50

Inform gp your his nok,get nok recorded anyone can be medical nok,not only wife nok leaflet

lilyaldrin Sun 01-Dec-13 23:00:58

friday - could you explain those points in a bit more detail? What if not tenants in common? What are LPoAs and EPoAs?

Gilberte Sun 01-Dec-13 23:02:22

Maybe the people who aren't married don't actually want to get married to the person who happens to have fathered their children.

In that case wills would be the sensible option surely?

friday16 Sun 01-Dec-13 23:05:31

joint responsibility for a spouses (individual) debt.

There is in general no such thing that is specific to married couples. Joint and several liability applies equally for married and unmarried couples when they enter into such arrangements. If you have a joint mortgage, or a joint bank account, then you are probably jointly and severally liable, married or not. If you have debts in your sole name, your partner is not liable, whether you are married or not. If you have specific examples as to why this is not true, describe them.

Gilberte Sun 01-Dec-13 23:05:33

Thanks for clarifying Friday. I am a joint tenant with DP. I really didn't realise that was not common for "unmarrieds"

scottishmummy Sun 01-Dec-13 23:08:22

Yes,I know it makes the mn massive gasp,clutching their pearl necklace
Some women dont want to be married,and no amount of harrumphing changes it
My giddy aunt, don't actually want to get married to the person who happens to have fathered their children....that's priceless esp the who happens.as if it was passing interloper who happens to spray his seed and get one knocked up

Bourdic Sun 01-Dec-13 23:08:22

State widows pension only payable if married- depending on financial circs that could be important

paperlantern Sun 01-Dec-13 23:08:45

Friday. except that is not true if you can "prove" they were run up in relation to the family finances. your spouse doesn't have a right to see them, but can be divided upon divorce

friday16 Sun 01-Dec-13 23:11:56

What if not tenants in common?

Then your house is not part of either person's estate, but is owned by the survivors automatically, with no IHT payable. The reason unmarried couples used to be advised against this (I was young, and it was all a long time ago) was that precisely because it was assumed that if you weren't married, you'd want your share to go to your beneficiaries not your partner. When I had a mortgage and wasn't married, in the mid-1980s, setting up joint tenancy raised some eyebrows.

LPoA is a Lasting Power of Attorney. EPoA is a thinko, the old Enduring Powers of Attorney have been replaced completely by LPoAs, but an EPoA is still valid if you have one. You can how can healthcare LPoAs, which allow you to give someone the power to speak for you over medical matters. Without one, an unmarried partner can be overridden by their partner's parents or siblings, no matter how long they've been living together or how many children they have. I'm not sure how you deal with that for your children (ie, mother dies, father and mother's parents disagree about medical treatment for child) because I solved the problem with a cheap wedding and a chinese meal afterwards before I had children.

Bourdic Sun 01-Dec-13 23:12:31

Whilst children young widowed mothers allowance can be worth over £100 a week

paperlantern Sun 01-Dec-13 23:12:39

I can now safely say I will not be marrying again until prenups become legal.

before you marry you assume that nasty divorce won't be yours. people are very generous with what they would do if the marriage split up before they actually get married.

Gilberte Sun 01-Dec-13 23:12:39

."...that's priceless esp the who happens.as if it was passing interloper who happens to spray his seed and get one knocked up"

Hey!! You may mock but I'm on your side of the argument. It came out the wrong way. I mean just because you have a baby with someone doesn't mean you necessarily want to marry them a few years down the line.

I know plenty of people in rocky relationships (trying to make it work because of the children) who definately shouldn't rush into marrying them

scottishmummy Sun 01-Dec-13 23:13:51

It was a funny turn of phrase,esp just happens.amused me

lilyaldrin Sun 01-Dec-13 23:16:20

friday - in the case that I died, what say would my parents have over the children? Surely it would just be up to their father?

Is LPoA something more than being named as next of kin on medical records?

friday16 Sun 01-Dec-13 23:19:39

In that case wills would be the sensible option surely?

Obviously. But there's a lot that wills can't do which marriage can.

except that is not true if you can "prove" they were run up in relation to the family finances

ie, you're jointly and severally liable. Could you describe a scenario where a couple with a joint mortgage and otherwise inter-twined finances would be liable for each other's debts by dint of being married, but wouldn't were they to be living together with some other legal structure?

deepfriedsage Sun 01-Dec-13 23:22:18

I think it was about 2003, that if unmarried Fathers attended the birth registrar they got automat pr as married Fathers do, prior to that or if not on bc they have to go to court for pr. If pre 2003, your parents trump your dp. Your dc get his share of equity, savings over you if he dies.

scottishmummy Sun 01-Dec-13 23:22:47

Medical Nok nominates whom you wish to be informed about your medical treatment
LPoA nomination form 2components1. Health,/social care 2.financial

lilyaldrin Sun 01-Dec-13 23:24:27

DP has parental responsibility for the children.
Wills state everything goes to each other, then split equally between children. My sister named as children's guardian if we both die.

friday16 Sun 01-Dec-13 23:29:03

in the case that I died, what say would my parents have over the children? Surely it would just be up to their father?

So long as all the paperwork has been done to confirm he is the father. Marriage finesses all that. Wasn't there a thread on MN recently about someone who had a very high risk pregnancy and was worried about what would happen if she were either very ill or dead after the child was born and not just an episode of Studio Sixty?

Is LPoA something more than being named as next of kin on medical records?

Yes.

www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=154

lilyaldrin Sun 01-Dec-13 23:31:27

OK, so there would be a problem if I died/was incapacitated before we could register a baby, but otherwise DP has parental responsibility so is fine.

Is LPoA something important/necessary for unmarried couples to have?

AuntieStella Sun 01-Dec-13 23:35:05

You need to check his pension. Some older ones do not pay out at all to unmarried partners. But even if he nominates you as partner, that lasts only if he keeps your name on it. If he decides to remove it, you will get nothing (unlike after divorce, as you can then get variations to it as a marital asset).

Make sure you claim CB for the NI credit, so at least you get a state pension.

There is no way, other than by marriage, to secure qualification to any state bereavement benefits.

scottishmummy Sun 01-Dec-13 23:38:13

Are you in England,Wales,or Scotland. Slightly different rules apply btw,no such such thing as common law wife
lPOA is fir when you've lost capacity and appoint nominated person to act for you
It's free to do, I attached link. So yes I'd undertake it

lilyaldrin Sun 01-Dec-13 23:40:36

England. That link didn't work, but from the gov.uk site it looks like it's £110 to apply?

eightandthreequarters Sun 01-Dec-13 23:45:52

If you are relying on wills, couldn't he simply change his as and when he pleased without informing you? And you could change yours. I'd be concerned about having my life sorted out in legal documents that any one party would undo, especially without the knowledge of the other party.

friday16 Sun 01-Dec-13 23:49:00

Is LPoA something important/necessary for unmarried couples to have?

Talk to a solicitor. Were one of you to be incapacitated, who would be able to access your sole-name assets? Were one of you to be incapacitated and require, for example, nursing care, who would get to choose the nursing home? Especially if, say, your partner's elderly parents or your own adult children disagreed?

Scenario: your fifty-five year old partner has a stroke and is severely incapacitated. You want to spend substantial portion of your joint assets, including some that are in his sole name, on residential rehabilitation when he is discharged. Your grabby twenty-six year old son, with whom you have a difficult relationship, wants to do it on the cheap to maximise "his" inheritance. His elderly parents think that nursing homes are where you go to die and want to see him nursed at home, preferably by you, although in extremis by them even though they're in their late seventies and couldn't cope, rather than "waste" money on any sort of nursing care. Who wins?

A will doesn't help: he's not dead. A living will is unlikely to contain enough detail. Social services and/or the court of protection might sort out the mess, but it'll take time. Name recorded as next of kin on medical records doesn't help, because the issue is spending money on nursing care. Your move.

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