We reported previously on the fact that the Supreme Court has held that the restriction on opposite sex couples entering into civil partnerships was a breach of their human rights. As a result of the decision, opposite sex couples are now permitted to enter into a civil partnership and we can report that the first such ceremonies took place on 31 December 2019.
The significance of this is that a civil partnership is a legally recognised relationship between two people that offers many of the same benefits as a marriage, including the same inheritance rights.
However, we remind readers that there is no such thing as a 'common law' marriage – so couples of any sex who co-habit but who are not married or in a civil partnership do not have any automatic rights to the estate of their partner on death.
Making a new will or reviewing an existing one should be a new year's resolution for everyone. This is the only way that a person can be sure that their estate will be divided in accordance with their wishes on their death.
To discuss this or any other family matter, contact us.