Are you expecting, adopting or already have children?

Are you expecting, adopting or already have children?

Making a Will whilst expecting or adopting is most likely the last item on your list to check off.


However, if you are a parent to be or already have children, then it is an important time as ever to have a Will prepared to ensure your children are protected and looked after. You can even include the current children you have and any future unborn children within your Will.


If you do decide to make a Will, most importantly the first to consider is the appointment of named legal guardians who would look after your child or children if in the event both yourself and your partner (if applicable) were to pass away. 


If your children are set to inherit under the age of 18 or your specified age of inheritance, then their inheritance will be held on trust until they attain the set age. It is therefore also important to consider those individuals you would wish to appoint as your Executors and Trustees who would look after this Trust and hold the funds until your child or children become of age.


Your Executors and Trustees would however be able to administer funds to the appointed guardians to cover costs of your child or children’s everyday needs. This would all need to be discussed at great length at your initial appointment with us due to the recent introduction of the Trust Registration Service with, if in the event minors are set to inherit under your Will.


Please remember, as your life circumstances change, it is always important to review and amend your Will to ensure your loved ones are always provided for.


If you would like to discuss making a Will, please contact our Private Client Team at Colchester who are available for appointments on 01206 577676 or alternatively email us at: [email protected]

For more information

Contact us on 01206 577676 or you can email [email protected]

She said maybe…

She said maybe…

She said maybe!


In the old days, couples living together without being married were often referred to as ‘living in sin’. Fortunately, those days are gone, and many couples now make a conscious choice not to marry or to at the very least not rush into it. There are several reasons for this societal shift.

Firstly, we are as a nation are increasing secular and those of us who are not religious needn’t be married in the eyes of God.

Secondly, whilst the average cost of a wedding in the UK varies from year to year, it is easily over £10,000- money that may be better spent elsewhere, for example on a deposit for a first home.

Thirdly, having children before marriage is no longer frowned upon.

But where does this leave couples legally?

Well contrary to public belief, there is no such thing as a common law marriage. If you did not marry, you are not married, and so if the relationship breaks down, cannot pursue the same financial remedies available to divorcees, no matter how long you have lived to all intents and purposes as a married couple, and regardless of whether you have had children. Cohabitees cannot for example make a claim for spousal maintenance, lump sum payments, pension sharing or property orders (unless a declaration of trust can be established).

Further, if one of you dies intestate, that is without a will, the bulk of your estate will not automatically pass to the other, in the same way it would to a widow or widower. Whilst cohabitees can make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, certain conditions will need to be met and any award made will likely be less than that for a widow or widower.

Its abundantly clear that those cohabitees do not have the same legal rights and protections as those that are married, at least not yet. There are however alternative options to marriage itself.


Cohabitation agreements

This is similar to a prenuptial agreement in that it sets out how finances should be managed during the relationship and in the event of separation. It can cover the distribution of all capital and income, including bank accounts, property, pensions, life insurance and wills and the apportionment of debts and living expenses.


It is advisable to hold the property you both live in either as joint tenants (that is a 50/50 split) or as tenants in common (that is in proportion to your contributions).  If one of you already owns the property by yourself, you might consider transferring some of it to your partner or drafting a declaration of trust setting out any other agreements as to ownership reached between you.


We recommend that you create a will to prevent your estate passing under the rules of intestacy. If you die without a will, your estate may pass to your children, parents or even siblings, but never your partner as cohabitee.


Child maintenance is predominantly governed by the Child Maintenance Service.  Whilst married parents can also claim additional child maintenance by order of the court as part of their divorce settlement, cohabitees can also make a claim for various financial orders under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.

The team at GoodyBurrett can help with any or all of the above. Please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01206 577676 or [email protected].

For more information

Contact us on 01206 577676 or you can email [email protected]