The recent tragic and sudden death in Dovercourt of firefighter Ben LeFevre aged 35 has left his lifelong partner Lindsey Chaseley and their three lovely daughters heartbroken and our hearts go out to them at this very sad time.

It has also left them bereft of his financial support, hence the need for a GoFundMe page for donations to help them.

This highlights the problems faced by any couples in similar circumstances in this country.

The myth of “common-law marriage” and “civil partnerships” leads them to believe a bereaved partner will be entitled to State Benefits.

Sadly this is not so.

For heterosexual couples only a legal marriage certificate can give these benefits. .

Same-sex couples can have legal civil partnerships giving them better rights than heterosexual couples.

A Supreme Court ruling last year stated that this inequality must be ended by government action, but so far nothing has happened.

Until this unfairness is ended, the options for committed couples like Lindsey and Ben are to make a will and/or get married.

A register office or religious ceremony is easy to arrange, and doesn’t cost thousands of pounds like a lavish wedding.

Alice Houlton

South Street, Manningtree