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Would a Civil Partnership Give us More Legal Protection Than Wills?

View profile for Cherrie Powell
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"My same-sex partner has a property portfolio and they want us to enter a civil partnership, partly to make sure I inherit so I can provide for our child. Isn’t a Will that names me the beneficiary enough?"

If you both make detailed Wills that are properly signed and witnessed, and are, ideally, prepared by a legal professional, then your wishes and your partner’s wishes are likely to be upheld. Of course, Wills can be successfully contested, and a family member might do this if they feel they have a claim to make.

There are a number of advantages to entering a civil partnership, particularly if one member of your relationship has considerable assets. Broadly speaking, for tax purposes, a civil partnership is treated the same in law as a marriage. 

If your partner was to die before you and you were not married or in a civil partnership then you may not receive anything, other than perhaps jointly held assets. And even if you do inherit, you could be left with a hefty Inheritance Tax bill. 

If you have a child together, it is important to get tailored legal advice around this issue, since family arrangements can be complex. Have you sought tailored advice around adoption? You can use a Will to appoint Guardians if there is no formal adoption agreement in place. Be aware that a marriage or a civil partnership will void any previous Will either of you might have made.

For specialist advice, call Cherrie on: 02920 855285 or

The question posed is based upon a hypothetical situation. The content does not constitute legal advice and is provided for general information only.