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Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any legal concerns we suggest you consult a solicitor.

Should we get married?

(27 Posts)
ACubed Sat 04-Feb-17 08:26:48

I've tried to search online but I can't seem to find anything conclusive. I live with my partner and our child in a house we own together (with mortgage). Neither of us are really fussed over marriage, but people have been telling us we should get married as otherwise if one of us dies the other would have to pay 40% of the house value as inheritance tax - is this the case?
My mum and dad grudgingly got married in their early sixties for this reason they said, but I just can't seem to find anything online to back it up.
Could anyone point me in the direction of some info?
thanks very much.

FinallyHere Sat 04-Feb-17 08:30:08

Hope this helps....

https://www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax/overview

ACubed Sat 04-Feb-17 08:33:24

Thanks, I've just read it but none the wiser - sorry I must be a bit simple! If we both own the house and one of us dies unmarried, would it be subject to tax? As far as I can tell this just says if you're leaving a house to a spouse...not leaving half your house to the spouse.
thanks for the response

tribpot Sat 04-Feb-17 08:33:24

Page from Citizens Advice here - yes, specifically you are not exempt from paying inheritance tax. There are also many other complications on death that surviving partners on Mumsnet have talked about extensively - accessing money held in sole accounts, the death happening overseas, etc.

ACubed Sat 04-Feb-17 08:33:58

Ah thanks - better get bloody married then
fucksticks!

LIZS Sat 04-Feb-17 08:34:08

It depends on the value of property as the first £325k of an estate is inheritance tax free. You would need a will to ensure it passes from one partner to another and it may also depend if you are tenants in common or joint tenants on the property. Might be worth going back to the solicitor who registered your property to discuss this.

PotteringAlong Sat 04-Feb-17 08:34:31

Yup! Get married!

SocksRock Sat 04-Feb-17 08:38:56

If you are joint tenants, both of you own the whole house. So you don't have "half" a house to leave on death. Your share goes directly to the other joint tenant without it forming part of your estate. My now-husband and I owned property before we were married as joint tenants, and if he died, the whole house would have automatically passed to me, and it wouldn't have counted as part of his estate for inheritance tax purposes.

If you own as tenants in common, you can own differing proportions of the house and you can leave your share to whoever you want. Your share forms part of the estate and counts towards any tax due.

Mehfruittea Sat 04-Feb-17 08:43:14

So I have been having similar thoughts recently. We are in same position, own house together and have child. We don't think Inheritance Tax will impact as it's only inheriting half the house.

But, having read about the cut to bereavement benefits it has made me think that I don't really know what is the financial difference between being married or not. I don't really want to get married, it's not that I'm indifferent, I actually don't want to.

But I became disabled an now feel quite vulnerable - I don't have the bravado of a younger "I can take care of myself" independent woman. I didn't ever imagine I'd want or need my husband to take care of me financially. In fact, we have always spoken as if we are married and are in every sense except legally.

So aside from IT and bereavement benefit, married persons tax allowance, what else is impacted?

What's this about dying overseas?!

FinallyHere Sat 04-Feb-17 08:53:53

SocksRock. I have never heard that owning property as joint tenants has any impact on inheritance tax due. I understand that it prevents you leaving your share to anyone else, not that it avoids IHT. There is an allowance on IHT (currently £325,000), if the total assets left are below that, there would be no IHT due.

https://www.gov.uk/tax-property-money-shares-you-inherit/joint-property-shares-bank-accounts

ACubed Sat 04-Feb-17 09:17:47

meh sorry to hear you're feeling vulnerable - it's really a legal minefield isn't it.
I've always really hated the idea of being referred to as someone's 'wife' - don't know why but it has negative connotations for me, based on nothing!

I'm thinking just do it in a reg office and don't tell anyone.

HelenDenver Sat 04-Feb-17 09:23:33

Also: next of kin. I think you can declare each other NOK but marriage should achieve it straight off.

SocksRock Sat 04-Feb-17 09:31:20

Nope you are right and I'm wrong. Our solicitor explained it to us like that - I'm assuming now he meant that we personally wouldn't pay as our estate would fall under the threashold. Sorry.

SilverClaire Sat 04-Feb-17 09:32:06

MPs and campaigners are trying to make civil partnerships legal for mixed sex partners so that they can have the same legal rights as married couples. Have a look at this link... https://www.change.org/p/equalities-minister-justine-greening-govt-equality-open-civil-partnerships-to-all

SilverClaire Sat 04-Feb-17 09:39:21

It looks like the bill will pass as they've had huge support from all parties but these things do take time. I don't want to get married but would feel more secure knowing I have legal right if anything were to happen to my partner. I've been with my partner for 13 years and it seems crazy that couples that have been together 5mins but married have more rights than us.

Mehfruittea Sat 04-Feb-17 10:04:59

I've been watching this bill for civil partnerships and would defo do that. We've been together 15 years and it's always seemed so unnecessary. We had a humanist naming ceremony after our son was born, we did it as an alternative to marriage and I changed my name by deed poll.

DH know shit all about money and if I pop my clogs he would be pretty screwed up by it. I think I should write him some instructions for the internet banking!

prh47bridge Sat 04-Feb-17 13:39:36

Why would you enter a civil partnership but not get married? Unless you get married in church there is no religious content in the ceremony. Marriage and civil partnership are essentially the same.

HelenDenver Sat 04-Feb-17 13:51:14

Historical connotations of marriage = change in ownership for women, plus preferring to be known as partners than as husband and wife.

Mehfruittea Sat 04-Feb-17 14:07:35

That's exactly the reason for me Helen. Change of ownership from father to husband, signified by name change. I had an absent father and a crap SD. Self sufficient all my life and object to the whole ownership thing.

I'm also not religious at all. Close family members are, and across multiple different religions. I felt it would be disrespectful to other people's beliefs to have a religious ceremony.

AdoraBell Sat 04-Feb-17 14:15:14

It's also about next of kin if something goes wrong with health.

You don't have to have a big wedding if that is putting you off. One of my siblings got married with friends as witness and then told everyone after a weekend away.

AdoraBell Sat 04-Feb-17 14:16:03

Also, no one has to change their name.

tribpot Sat 04-Feb-17 14:27:11

No change of name here, and certainly no religious ceremony.

caroldecker Sat 04-Feb-17 15:38:44

Also pensions - depending on your pension scheme, married partners can get some rights unmarried paartners do not.
Death in service benefit also makes up your estate.

meditrina Sat 04-Feb-17 15:58:20

If not married, and you separate, wills and pension beneficiaries can be changed at the stroke of a pen.

You can be left in a very vulnerable position if you take time out of the workforce (eg to raise DC).

Also, the laws if the country you are in are the ones that apply if you have an accident or are caught up in an incident abroad. Many either official or de facto recognition of non-marital partners, but if you're in one that doesn't you will not be treated as NOK.

In UK, it's a fairly nebulous concept anyhow, but if you don't get on with partner's family then they could cut you out (at what is bound to be a distressing time in the first place).

You also don't get state bereavement benefits unless married.

GasLightShining Tue 07-Feb-17 18:39:11

We got married as pension would not be payable if weren't.

Registry office and no guests

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