Civil partnerships between opposite sex couples


At the end of 2019, we saw civil partnerships between opposite sex couples come into law, but many people are still confused as to what effect this has on wills and probate law?

Where you die with no will leaving a surviving civil partner

Your civil partner is included as one of your beneficiaries and will be entitled to administer your estate. The amount of your assets your civil partner will receive depends on whether you have any children and the value of your estate, so you should seek legal advice before relying upon the intestacy, or preferably, make a will to ensure that those people you wish to inherit your assets, do so. This is especially important if you have children and your estate is worth more than £270,000.

It is important to note that this only applies if you have entered into a civil partnership. There continues to be no recognition of a legal status for couples who have lived together for many years and who have not entered into marriage or civil partnership.

Where you die with a will

Your assets will pass in accordance with your will. If at the time you are making your will, you intend to enter into a civil partnership, then make sure you tell your solicitor making the will, so that they can ensure your will is not cancelled by entering into the civil partnership. If you have already entered into a civil partnership, then you will need to update your will as it will have been cancelled by the civil partnership.

Should the civil partnership not work out and you decide to go your separate ways or dissolve the civil partnership, you should seek legal advice about whether your will continues to meet your requirements.

What does it mean for pensions

Civil partners are treated in the same way as your spouse, so will be entitled to a widow or widower’s pension.

Again, it is important to note that this only applies if you have entered into a civil partnership.

If you have any questions about civil partnerships between opposite sex couples please contact us.

Ann-Marie Matthews is a solicitor in the private client team at Barker Gotelee, Ipswich Solicitors.

Suffolk Private Client Solicitors – for more information on our range of legal services, please call the team on 01473 611211 or email bg@barkergotelee.co.uk