Wills and powers of attorney and polyamory

Melanie Christodoulou

Senior Associate

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February 20, 2023

Categories Wills and Inheritance

If you are in a polyamorous relationship, what happens to your estate when you die?

If you don’t have a will in place, then under intestacy rules your spouse or civil partner will be entitled to various parts of your estate (depending on if children are also involved); whilst leaving the third person (or other persons) with no legal rights at all.

They could then potentially make a claim against your estate, which will involve unnecessary legal costs and delay in administering your estate.

No one wants that headache – so, why not instruct a lawyer to draft your will and cater for not only your spouse or civil partner, but also your other partner(s)?

It might be worth considering outright gifts to them, or a trust to include everyone you love with directions on how funds should be distributed to them and how much.

You should also give consideration to the scenario of losing capacity in the future – this could be from old age or from an accident. Setting up lasting powers of attorney for your finances and health can help you to ensure the people you love and trust have the legal right to make decisions for you.

There are many ways such powers can be given and so sorting out these documents sooner than later enables you to feel you have put your affairs in order.

The law of England and Wales has a long way to go before adapting to provide legal recognition of the variety of relationships existing amongst the population. In the meantime, we, as lawyers are working hard to ensure our clients are protected as far as possible regardless of the partner or partners they choose to share their life with.

For further information about wills and powers of attorney contact Senior Associate, Melanie Christodoulou, on 01227 763939.


See related blog by family law Associate, Joanne McDonald on cohabitation and post-nuptial agreements >