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A LEGAL firm is warning unmarried couples in the borough to make a will - or they may lose out.

More than half of unmarried couples wrongly believe their assets are protected by the law and between half and two-thirds of adults have not made a will.

Under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 if you are a couple who has lived together for two years or more and one of you dies without making a will, then spouses, children, civil partners and cohabitees are entitled to make an application for ‘reasonable financial provision’ in court. Similarly if you are married without a will you will not automatically inherit your partner’s estate - this only happens if a couple hold their assets in joint names.

Howard Burns, wills and probate partner at Lewis Hymanson Small, in Manchester, said: “Until the law changes and unmarried couples have the same rights as married ones they have a moral obligation to their family and their security to draw up a will.

“This will stop any unnecessary litigation and disputes. Be prepared for the future especially if you have children and own property.”