Civil Partnerships were introduced by the Civil Partnership Act 2004, allowing same sex couples over the age of 18 years the right to have their relationships legally recognised.
Those in a Civil Partnership benefit from the same legal rights as married couples in terms of inheritance and tax benefits on death.
Effect for Opposite Sex Couples
After years of campaigning, the government accepted that inequality existed in the treatment of same sex and heterosexual couples and as a result the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Death (Registration etc) Act 2019 came into force on the 31st December 2019 to allow opposite sex couples to enter into a Civil Partnership.
What about my Will?
When you enter into a Civil Partnership (or marriage) in England or Wales any Will that you already have in place in England or Wales will automatically become void. The only way to prevent this is to make your Will “in contemplation” of your Civil Partnership (or marriage), naming the person you intend to enter into a Civil Partnership (or marriage) with.
If your existing Will was made before you had planned to enter into your Civil Partnership (or marriage) and as such it was not made “in contemplation” of your civil partnership (or marriage), then you will need to make a new Will.
What is the benefit?
Inheritance tax is where Civil Partnerships can have a significant impact and accordingly couples should consider entering into a Civil Partnership in order to gain the potentially significant Inheritance tax benefits.
If you would like to discuss making a Will or the tax benefits of a Civil Partnership please contact our solicitors Vicky Bligh on 01752 388910 or Hayley Stevenson on 01752 968461 in our private client team who would be happy to discuss matters with you.