The Civil Partnerships (Jersey) Law 2012 (the "Law")
that came in to force on 2 April gives civil partnerships between
same-sex couples legal recognition. The Law also confers certain
property rights to couples who undertake a civil partnership, much
the same as were already afforded to heterosexual couples.
Some of the property rights which are likely to be of day-to-day
relevance to civil partners are set out below:
Stamp Duty Relief
If one civil partner transfers title to the home that they share
to the other, they will be entitled to stamp duty relief, whether
the transfer is of the freehold of the property or by way of share
Right of Dower
'Dower' is the right of enjoyment of a one-third
interest in the immoveable estate of a deceased person. If one
civil partner dies having made a will, the surviving civil partner
is now entitled under the Law to claim a right of dower.
If a civil partner dies without having made a will then, in most
circumstances, the surviving civil partner is entitled to a life
interest in the civil partnership home, this being the dwelling
place in Jersey occupied by the couple as their principal
With the Law treating civil partners much the same as
heterosexual married couples, in certain circumstances, if the
civil partners are buying property together, particularly when they
are taking a mortgage to do so, each partner may be required to
take independent legal advice to ensure that they separately
understand the consequences of their entering into the property
If one civil partner is declared bankrupt and the home of the
civil partners is vested in the Viscount, the other civil partner
may either make an application for an order for the home to pass to
him or her or make a claim to the proceeds of any sale of the home
or a life interest in the home.
This is a very brief summary of some of the property issues
arising out of the new Law.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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