Civil Partnerships were granted under the Civil Partnerships Act 2004 which allows same sex couples to obtain essentially the same rights and responsibilities as Civil Marriage. By entering into a Civil Partnership, same sex couples are entitled to the same property rights as married opposite sex couples, and the same exemption as married couples on inheritance tax and pension benefits.
Often, Civil Partnerships provide what can be perceived as a practical route to cement a relationship as opposed to the religious undertones of marriage which may put many same sex couples off the idea of formal union.
What is important to focus on is the legal rights that a Civil Partnership or same sex marriage gives to same sex couples. There is the benefit of an increased inheritance tax exemption as well as the question of how a pension is distributed following a death.
To discuss the benefits of undertaking a Civil Partnership or a same sex marriage from a legal point of view, please contact our Private Client team on 01905 721600.