This is especially important if you own assets in your sole name or if you own property together as tenants in common. On the other hand, many people see civil partnerships as being more modern and therefore expressed more equality within the relationship, rather than the institutionalised patriarchy that’s ingrained within marriage. ← What Happens If a Beneficiary of a Will Dies? Taking Time Off Work for a Funeral: What Are My Rights? For more information on how to convert civil partnerships into a marriage click here. When you pass your estate to your spouse you also pass you Nil Rate Band which entitles your spouse a higher inheritance tax threshold on their death. If you do write a will leaving your estate to your partner they will still not receive the same tax exemptions that a spouse would. We use this information to make the website work as well as possible and improve government services. There are also inheritance tax benefits to leaving your estate to your spouse, the first being that there is no Inheritance tax to pay on assets being passed between spouses (although there are sometimes in certain circumstances exceptions to this rule). Additionally, when it comes to divorce and annulment of these relationships, the differences are marginal between the two with the main point being that civil partnerships cannot be ended on the grounds of adultery, whereas marriages can. Both of these unions are created to recognise the bond between two people, however the ideas behind each relationship are quite different. Marriage, for example, is a historic institution that is recognised around the world as being legally binding. Unfortunately not taking the proper precautions can lead to a lot of distress, disputes and even court cases in some circumstances. Key Differences between Marriage and Civil Partnership. Please tell us what format you need. Couples who have already undergone a civil partnership but wish to be married can easily change this at a register office or a licenced wedding premises. The benefits of a civil partnership are if you are in a same-sex relationship your partnership is legally recognised, this means you will have additional legal rights and responsibilities. This table sets out the similarities and differences between civil partnership and marriage in England and Wales for same-sex and opposite-sex couples. The laws of intestacy will designate your next as kin as your beneficiaries, without the correct precautions in place your partner may be forced into giving up assets you wanted them to have. In some cases, this can lead to the surviving partner having to sell the property for the deceased’s beneficiaries to receive their share. version of this document in a more accessible format, please email This isn’t a problem that’s restricted to civil partnerships however, you will find also find the same restrictions on gay marriage in various countries – with some placing it at a similar level to a civil partnership, while others do not recognise it at all. →. This includes the right to inherit under the rules of intestacy and the transfer of their Nil Rate Band. In fact, civil partners have exactly the same legal rights in many areas of the law, including: Essentially, there are very few differences from a legal standpoint between marriage and civil partnerships except for the fact that only homosexual couples are able to enter into civil partnerships. Who Are Social Services and What do They do? Spouses are considered the most direct next of kin and take priority over blood relations. Living together, marriage and civil partnership Settling down with your partner is an exciting step, but it is important to make sure you understand your relationship’s legal status. Proof of a marriage can be:-a certified copy of an entry in a UK register of marriages; or; a marriage certificate issued in the country where the marriage took place. Understanding how the law recognises your relationship and what entitlement you have will allow you to take the necessary actions whilst you still can and ensure your loved ones are looked after. While this is largely down to personal opinion, it is one of the main reasons that civil partnerships still exist and why heterosexual couples are campaigning for CP. There is currently a lot of confusion surrounding this topic, so we’ll try to make it easier for you to understand: From a legal standpoint, these two unions share very similar characteristics. Same-sex couples in the UK are able to decide between marriage and civil partnerships – a choice that is not currently offered to opposite-sex couples, who can only marry. These are referred to as ‘pre-civil partnership agreements’  for this type of relationship, but work in the same way in that they lay out the couple’s assets and income and what would happen to them in the result of a relationship breakdown. 459 London Road, Camberley, Surrey GU15 3JA, civil partnership and marriage for same-sex couples, The meaning of probate and a grant of probate, Where there is no Will – Financial Provision for the Family & Dependants. A civil partnership on the other hand is not legally recognised in some other countries, which can cause difficulties if you are emigrating or require marriage rights while abroad – in the case of an emergency for example. why heterosexual couples are campaigning for CP, 10 Years of Civil Partnerships – Facts and Statistics, Number of Same-Sex Marriages Rises, But Civil Partnerships Decrease, Statement of Compliance Criminal Finances Act 2017. Your email address will not be published. Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details. Whether you are entering into a same-sex or opposite-sex marriage or a civil partnership, it is a good idea to financially protect yourself with a prenuptial agreement. Please complete the below form and one of our legal team will be in touch as soon as possible. These agreements can be easily drafted by a qualified family solicitor, offering you peace of mind and reducing the chances of a messy outcome should a marriage or civil partnership not work out. It is extremely important to understand you and your partners legal standing in the event of one of your deaths, unfortunately, it is an issue that is commonly misunderstood or completely unknown for a lot of couples in the UK. It will take only 2 minutes to fill in. Should You Include Your Funeral Wishes in Your Will? Yes, same-sex couples are able to choose between marriage and civil partnerships. Same-sex couples also have the option to convert their civil partnership to a marriage - 7,732 couples did this in the first six months following the law change. This means that they will not be entitled to inherit upon the others death, and the deceased’s estate will be distributed to their next of kin. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use. The surviving owner will automatically inherit these assets regardless of your relationship with them through the rights of survivorship for example, joint bank accounts or a property owned as joint tenants. There are benefits to being married when it comes to rights to inherit, inheritance tax and estate administration. FAQ Series: Who Moves Out of the Marital Home? Validity. This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.