Will Drafting for Cohabiting Couples

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Will drafting for cohabiting couples has unique challenges not just for the drafter but also for the couple as they try to achieve the best result.. The problem is particularly acute when one or both have children from an earlier relationship.

There is often a tension between wanting to give the survivor a right of occupation for at least a limited period and wanting to pass assets on to their own children. Where a right of occupation is created, who pays the running costs? What will the inheritance tax consequences be?

The lack of a spouse exemption makes IHT planning difficult especially in relation to the residence nil rate band.

There is also the possibility of a claim being brought by the survivor against the estate of the first to die under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. The session will look at the matters the court will consider when deciding whether or not to make an award.

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Learning objectives:

After completing this session delegates will be able to advise cohabiting couples:

  • on the possible ways to structure their wills, and
  • the tax and practical implications of the various options


Your CPD Certificate can be found in your Account.

Professor Lesley King

Professional Development Consultant • University of Law

Author of Wills, Taxation and Administration: A Practical Guide; A Modern Approach to Wills, Administration and Estate Planning (with Precedents); A Modern Approach to Lifetime Tax Planning for Private Clients (with Precedents); A Practitioner’s Guide to Wills; Varying the Disposition of an Estate after Death; Wills: A Practical Guide; and editor of The Probate Practitioner’s Handbook.

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