Unmarried but have lived with your partner for a long time?

Civil Partnerships – Could you benefit from the changes in legislation?

On 31st December 2019, the law was changed so that the facility to enter into a civil partnership was available to heterosexual couples.

It was introduced to address the imbalance that allowed same-sex couples to choose between civil partnership or marriage, but didn’t give mixed-couples the same choice.

It is estimated that 3.3 million opposite-sex couples are cohabiting in the UK without any formal arrangements, and this is the fastest growing type of family arrangement in the UK.

What is a Civil Partnership?

A civil partnership is a legally recognised relationship between two people.  Those in a civil partnership benefit from the same rights as married couples in terms of tax benefits, pensions and inheritance.

It was introduced in the UK in 2004 to same-sex couples over the age of 16 – at this time same-sex marriage was not yet legal.

Why have a Civil Partnership:

Many couple aren’t comfortable with marriage as a tradition, or feel that the religious aspect of marriage make it the wrong option for them.

With a civil partnership, you do not even have to have a ceremony – just a document to sign.  But in financial terms it could be a big step to protect you and your assets.

Benefits of a Civil Partnership:

  • It will give your relationship legal recognition
  • Any transfer of property will not be subject to inheritance tax during lifetime or death
  • If a civil partner lives in the other’s property and is supported, they can apply for maintenance.
  • If one of the partners earns £11,850 or less, then a proportion of their tax-free personal allowance can be transferred to their partner if a higher earner, reducing their income tax bill.
  • If one partner were to die, the survivor has rights to their state pension fund.
  • Civil partners who die without a valid will have the same rights and legitimate expectations as those in a marriage.

If you feel that this is something that could benefit you and are interested in a chat about it further then please get in touch.


We strongly advise you to seek appropriate advice before taking action on any of the points listed above.
All information contained in this document are correct at the time of writing.  Legislation and regulations may change at any time.
If you are in any doubt, please call us for clarification.
About us:  Leggate Associates Limited was formed by Andrew Leggate LL.B FCMA FCA CGMA who has over 35 years of tax and accountancy experience in industry and practice, and the practice is managed by Joanne Leggate FMAAT, ATT (Fellow).  Our clients range from building subcontractors to multi-million pound concerns and high net worth individuals all over the UK.  Please see our website www.leggateassociates.co.uk  or follow @LeggateAssoc on Twitter for occasional updates.
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