Civil Partnerships & Wills

As of 31st December 2019, the Civil Partnership, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc.) Act 2019 comes into force enabling opposite sex couples to enter into civil partnerships. This follows on from a previous Supreme Court judgement on the issue and now means that over 3 million cohabiting opposite sex couples can now formalise their relationship via a civil partnership.

However, many people do not appreciate the effect that marriage or forming a civil partnership has on their estate when they die.

A civil partnership automatically revokes a Will unless it is made specifically in contemplation of the civil partnership, as per section 18(B) of the Wills Act 1837.

This means that those couples, who enter into a civil partnership will not have valid Wills following the formation of their civil partnership and if they were to die prior to putting a new Will in place their estate would pass in accordance with the intestacy rules, which may not necessarily reflect the wishes of the parties to the civil partnership. The intestacy rules can throw up all kinds of unintended consequences.

If you are therefore thinking of entering into a civil partnership it is worth seeking advice from a solicitor to ensure that your Will is either made in contemplation of the civil partnership or that a new Will is prepared following the formation of the partnership to ensure that your Will accurately reflects your wishes.

We can help advise in relation to these issues and please contact us for further information.

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