Civil Partnership or Marriage - a choice in 2020.
If you like it then haven’t got to put a ring on it…
As you may have heard, following a recent change in the law, civil partnerships are now an option for heterosexual couples who do not wish to get married. These civil partnerships will provide the same legal rights as married couples, including the tax saving benefits married couples enjoy.
The recent change comes as a result of a recent supreme court ruling which held that the previous law on Civil Partnerships thbreached the Human Rights of heterosexual couples. The new law will not, however, protect couple living together under a ‘common law’ marriage who have not formalised the arrangement by forming either a marriage or a civil partnership.
There are currently just over 3.3 million unmarried couples living together in the UK, and whilst the idea of a ‘common law’ marriage is something that is frequently talked about, in the eyes of the law this simply is not enough.
Couples who are married or in a civil partnership can make significant tax savings, particularly after death, as an estate left to a spouse in entirely exempt of inheritance tax. Furthermore, the nil rate band of tax available to each person can be transferred to the surviving spouse, giving them double the allowance upon death. For those couples who are co-habiting, these benefits are not available.
However, some couples are put off by the idea of marriage, perhaps because of a bad experience, moral objections or simply because they do not feel it is the right option for them. This new option gives couples the right to choose between a marriage, or a civil partnership.
If you wish to speak to a member of our family team about your rights as a couple or if you are co-habiting with someone, please do get in touch and we would be happy to assist.
Similarly, if you are thinking about getting married or forming a civil partnership, doing so you could revoke a Will that you or your partner have previously made. You may therefore want to speak to a member of our Private Client team who will be happy to help and advise you in the making of new Wills to take these recent changes into account.