couple sitting at kitchen table looking at papers. Financial health concept
Sean Cate
Sean Cate
March 24, 2024 ·  3 min read

Money Saving Expert Issues a Warning to Couples Who Live Together But Are Not Married

Living together without marriage is a joyous commitment, but it comes with financial risks often overlooked. Financial guru Martin Lewis has sounded a vital alarm bell for couples cohabiting without the legal bond of marriage. Here’s a closer look at the crucial details he’s brought to light for those who are not married.

Why Wills Matter if You Are Not Married

Martin Lewis, the founder of, has highlighted a critical aspect—unmarried couples don’t possess automatic rights to their partner’s assets in the event of death.1 Without a legally binding will, the surviving partner isn’t entitled to inherit.

Martin’s warning emphasizes the legal implications. Unmarried couples, no matter how long they’ve lived together or if they have children, lack legal entitlement. A will becomes a critical document to ensure the partner inherits the estate.

Intestacy rules define how assets are distributed when there’s no will.2 In England and Wales, married or civil partners inherit first, receiving the initial £322,000 of the estate. For higher values, the spouse gets half, while the rest is divided among surviving children. If you are not married, then you aren’t technically a spouse, are you?

Importance of a Will and Accessibility

Martin’s emphasis on securing a solicitor-drafted will remains paramount. He recommends obtaining a gold-standard solicitor-drafted will.3 While they might come with a price, several avenues can make them accessible. Free Wills Month, held twice a year for those over 55, provides a free will in return for a charitable donation after death. Similarly, Will Aid, happening annually, encourages donations to charities for basic “mirror wills.”

Marriage or not married, a will is an indispensable legal document. It’s not just a piece of paper; it’s a way to safeguard your partner and assets, ensuring your intentions are respected and your loved ones are cared for when you’re no longer there to do so.

Protecting Partners and Assets if You Aren’t Married

In essence, the advice is simple: safeguard your loved ones and assets with a legally binding will. Regardless of marital status, this document is essential for securing your partner’s future and ensuring your assets are distributed according to your wishes in the event of the unforeseen.

The overarching message from Lewis’s advice is clear: a will is essential for safeguarding partners and assets. It’s not just a legal document but a vital means of securing your partner’s future and ensuring your assets align with your wishes after you’re gone. Lewis’s warning sheds light on the legal challenges faced by couples who are not married. Regardless of the duration of cohabitation or the presence of children, without a will, partners aren’t legally entitled to inherit from each other’s estates.

Concluding Thoughts

Marriage doesn’t guarantee financial security for a partner in the absence of a will. For couples not married and living together, the necessity of a will is even more pronounced. It’s a tangible way to protect your loved ones and ensure your assets are distributed as per your wishes, avoiding potential legal complexities or disputes.

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  1. Martin Lewis issues warning to people living together who aren’t married.” Chronicle Live. Aaron Morris. November 22, 2023.
  2. Martin Lewis issues ‘crucial’ warning to couples living together who aren’t married.” Mirror. Levi Winchester. November 21, 2023.
  3. Martin Lewis issues urgent warning to couples who live together but aren’t married.” Lad Bible. Joe Harker. November 23, 2023.