Will drafting—civil partners and same sex marriage
Will drafting—civil partners and same sex marriage

The following Wills & Probate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Will drafting—civil partners and same sex marriage
  • Civil partnerships
  • Same sex marriages
  • Drafting considerations

Civil partnerships

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 (CPA 2004) puts same sex couples who register their partnerships in the position of married couples in relation to matters of succession with effect from 5 December 2005.

Practitioners are generally well versed in dealing with conventional marriage situations but will now encounter with increasing regularity, the situation of a civil partnership. It is as well to be sure of the law that relates to civil partners and the issues to be dealt with in Will drafting. A fundamental first question to ask of the client is confirmation of their civil partnership.

Most practitioners take it for granted that those that describe themselves as married are indeed married but it is no bad idea to peruse the certificate to ensure that the marriage is legal and recognised in England and Wales. There is no reason that this practice should not be applied to a civil partnership.

There are two forms of registration as civil partners:

  1. the standard procedure

  2. the special procedure by way of a Registrar General’s Licence, used in cases of unavoidable urgency

The more common procedure under the standard option is to give notice of the proposed civil partnership and when this formality is dealt with, the appropriate registration authority will record it. This information is then kept on public display for a period