Wills laws and same sex marriage

The laws relating to Wills treat same sex couples the same as unmarried heterosexual couples, who are called ‘domestic partners’ in the legislation.  

In working out a partner’s entitlement, there is no difference to a partner’s entitlement under a Will, or under intestacy (where there is no Will). If a person dies without a will, leaving a spouse or domestic partner, but no children, the whole estates goes to your partner.  If there are children, the children receive a share.  Similarly, a same-sex partner has the same rights to challenge a Will as a heterosexual partner or spouse.

The difference for same sex couples being unable to marry is relevant to revocation (cancelling) of a Will.  Generally, marriage revokes a Will.  Divorce revokes an ex-partner’s entitlements. If a couple doesn’t marry, any Will they may each have already made, before commencing their relationship, remains valid. Similarly, if their relationship breaks down, the Will is not revoked.

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