Heterosexual couples to be able to choose civil partnership rather than marriage

All couples to be entitled to the same legal treatment for inheritance, tax and pensions as in marriage.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that straight couples will be able to choose to enter into civil partnerships, rather than marriage. The move, which will give all couples “the same choices in life”, will end the anomaly whereby same-sex couples can choose between getting married or a civil partnership, while opposite-sex couples are limited to marriage only.

There are nearly 3.3 million unmarried couples in the UK living together and sharing finances, however these couples do not have the same legal protections as those who are married or have a civil partnership.

The change in the law helps to “protect the interests of opposite-sex couples who want to commit, want to formalise their relationship but don’t necessarily want to get married” by bringing about equal tax, inheritance and pensions for them.

Some Conservative MPs have demanded the change also extends the right to relatives who have lived together for more than 12 years so they avoid being crippled by inheritance tax (IHT).

IHT can be mitigated by forward planning and our Beavis Morgan tax experts are available to guide you and advise you on the available strategies.

Our diverse team of tax professionals are also committed to ensuring that your tax reporting obligations are fully satisfied and that every opportunity to lawfully exploit tax savings is made known to you, restructuring your affairs in a tax effective and efficient way.

If you would like to know more, please contact Barrie Dunning or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner.

Further reading:

Family relationships must be taken into account when structuring finances

Aretha died intestate: IHT planning advice