Following the introduction of the Civil Partnership, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc.) Act 2019, from 31st December 2019 opposite sex couples can now form a civil partnership. This is fantastic news for over three million cohabiting same sex couples who may now wish to formalise their relationship.
However, many people do not appreciate the effect that marriage or forming a civil partnership has on their estate when they die. Under s18(B) of Wills Act 1837 a civil partnership revokes a Will unless it is made specifically in contemplation of the civil partnership. This means that those couples, who enter into a civil partnership will not have valid Wills following the formation of their 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. For instance, if the deceased’s estate exceeded £250,000 and they had children or remoter descendants not all of their estate would pass to their surviving civil partner.
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.
Our Private Client Team are experts in this area. Should you need advice, do not hesitate to contact us.
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