There are several ways in which married couples are treated differently to unmarried couples. Most of the differences occur in respect of money issues and generally become apparent on the death of one of the parties or when the parties separate . Issues that are handled differently with married couples include capital gains tax , wills , inheritance tax , pensions and issues where children are involved. This includes children from former relationships as well as from their present relationship . When examining the law surrounding capital gains tax and inheritance tax the law will treat unmarried couples as two separate individuals when dealing with these matters. By treating them this way they are taxed individually. In situations were the couple are married capital gains tax and inheritance tax would be avoided altogether. An unmarried couple would have to pay both if one of the partners dies. When assessing capital gains tax according to tax legislation all people have an allowance of £8,000 before they have to pay tax. Married couples get allowed twice this amount per year and can avoid paying such tax by transferring assets to the partner who earns the lowest . Unmarried couples are governed by the allowance and cannot avoid tax in this manner. Similarly the law on inheritance tax is set at £285,000 for anyone who is not married. Inheritance tax includes the price of any property that is left to the beneficiary which makes it so that a lot of people will be subject to this tax given the recent huge increase in house prices. With married couples the whole of the estate can pass to the surviving spouse without being subjected to any inheritance tax regardless of the amount inherited . For those who are not married a will is essential as it would be unlikely for the partner to be able to inherit anything from their deceased partner’s estate without a will . Such a will has to specifically name the partner as a personal representative of the deceased in order for the surviving partner to be able to administer the will. In cases where unmarried couples have failed to make a will the partner has occasionally not received any property or money from the estate of the deceased . By contrast in cases where the couple are married and the parties have not made a will the estate and any other possessions of the deceased will automatically be awarded to the surviving spouse in cases where there are no children from the relationship . If they do have children then a proportion of the inheritance would be reserved for the children. Problems have also arisen in respect of pensions . The government has attempted to address this issue just recently but as yet the new proposals have not been implemented so it is debatable as to whether unmarried couple would be entitled to the pension or not.
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