In June 2018 the Supreme Court ruled in favour of a heterosexual couple who had argued that their inability to formalise their relationship through a civil partnership was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.
Thereafter in October it was announced by the Government that every couple in England and Wales will in future be able to choose between a civil partnership and marriage when they formalise their relationship
The Office for National Statistics figures showed there was a 2% rise in new civil partnerships in England and Wales last year, the second consecutive year in which there has been an increase. The government had initially expected them to decline sharply after the legalisation of gay marriage in 2014.
Many couples do not wish to get married but this causes disadvantages when it comes to inheritance tax. Currently, only married couples can have the advantage of the spouse exemption on a death of a partner. This means that if your husband or wife die you are free to inherit without having to pay inheritance tax. Due to this, the number of deathbed weddings has also gone up, suggesting cohabiting couples are belatedly realising that without the legal protection of a formal relationship, any surviving partner is exposed to inheritance tax.
When this comes into force, heterosexual couples who enter into a civil partnership as opposed to a marriage will also benefit from spouse exemption for inheritance tax purposes.
Inheritance tax advice– Contact us for Legal Advice
Contact our lawyers in Carter Lemon Camerons Solicitors for advice on inheritance tax. The specialist team at Carter Lemon Camerons Solicitors can assist you with a wide range of matters including inheritance tax, lease extensions and obtaining probate and administration of estates as well as drafting, forming and administering trusts and preparing Powers of Attorneys for all kinds including Lasting Powers of Attorney. For more details, please contact Ian West or Neil Acheson-Gray, partners in our Private Client team at Carter Lemon Camerons or call us on +44 (0) 20 7406 1000.