More than a third of unmarried couples living together in Britain do not know what their legal rights would be if their partner were to pass away without drawing up a will.
Research carried out by Direct Line Insurance suggests 38% of affected couples are not sure of what they would be entitled to in the event of the death of their loved one.
One in ten mistakenly believe that they would inherit their partner's share of any property they own together – but this would only be the case if their partner had asked for this to happen in their will.
And while more than half of married people in Britain have drawn up a will, that figure is much lower for those cohabiting with their partner.
Just 26% of unmarried people living with a partner have outlined their wishes in a legal document.
"As our society changes, marriage is further down the agenda for many couples," said Jane Morgan, business manager at Direct Line Life Insurance.
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"It is very common for partners to live together for extended periods of time before getting married, if they marry at all.
"However, the law is still somewhat behind the times in regards to cohabiting partners and worryingly, millions of Brits are under the false impression that they have the same legal and financial security as married couples."