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Cohabiting couples on the increase

By July 14, 2016January 29th, 2021For Business

The percentage of people aged 16 and over who are married has decreased over time from 54.8% in 2002 to 50.6% in 2015. The percentage of people aged 16 and over who are single has increased over time from 29.6% in 2002 to 34.5% in 2015. This coincides with an increase in people cohabiting who are never married or civil partnered (Figure 5), as cohabitation has become more common as an alternative to marriage, especially at younger ages. The rise in single population also reflects more people in middle age groups remaining unmarried.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show an increase in the number of couples who are living together and have never been married or civil partners.Families where the couple are not married have been the fastest growing family type between 2005 and 2015.If you are living together but are not married or civil partners and one of you dies without making a will, the other person does not have an automatic right to inherit.Whether you believe in marriage or not, the law does give married couples inheritance rights, but even then there can be unexpected consequences for spouses who die without wills.Whatever form your relationship takes, a will is the only way to guarantee that your wishes will be followed if you die. 

Chris Burrows

Author Chris Burrows

Chris is a Senior Solicitor and is head of the firm's Private Client department.

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