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Both Family Partner Sally Leaman and Wills Associate Tasoula Addision appeared in The Telegraph discussing women and family finances. It’s often the case that one partner in the family home is left in control of organising the finances, from mortgage lenders, to utility companies and internet providers, leaving the other partner in a haze of unknown. Although some women do have a sound knowledge of household finances, it is a task often left to the male figure. 

The Telegraph sought out the expertise of Sally and Tasoula to discuss how women and other partners can become more savvy when it comes to family money and the importance of developing their understanding. So what sort of basic things should a wife or co-habiting partner know about when it comes to family money?

Sally, Head of Family Law, said: “Check whose name the house is in. Is it in joint names or just your partner’s? Check whom the mortgage is with, and how much is outstanding. Are there any life policies and are you a beneficiary in the event of your partner’s death?

“Is there sufficient life cover to pay the mortgage if he dies? What savings and investments do you have as a couple, and are these in joint names or just one party’s name? Remember, if you separate, you will have no control over savings in your partner’s sole name if he blows the lot on the holiday of a lifetime or some boy’s toys.”

Tasoula added that it is vital to have basic knowledge about your home, saying, “If the property is unregistered [with the Land Registry] then make sure you know where the deeds are held, as they will be needed to prove ownership.”

She also provided advice in regards to pension provisions and wills: “Often couples prepare ‘mirror wills’, where they agree how they would like their estates to be distributed and make wills in similar terms. Make sure you take a full and active part in reaching a decision about this, rather than simply going along with your partner’s choices.”

You can read the full Telegraph article here – ‘Why I’m a Christmas financial failure’