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Lords debates Inheritance (Cohabitation) Bill

Members of the House of Lords have debated the key principles and purpose of the Inheritance (Cohabitants) Bill, which is a private members' bill aimed at making significant changes to the rights of a cohabitant in the event of their partner’s death.

A private members' bill is a type of public bill (that affects the public) introduced by an individual member of the House of Lords.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill (Liberal Democrat) introduced the bill as one drafted by the Law Commission of England and Wales. Opening the debate, he emphasised the key principle of the potential legislation: ‘The bill closes an important gap in the rights and needs of cohabitants and their children. Whereas spouses and civil partners whose partners die intestate are not placed in additional hardship because of the intestacy regime, cohabitants and their children are at risk.’

He emphasised his belief that ‘the bill does not undermine marriage’ and instead 'remedies part of a greater injustice and will make some people's lives a little easier following a bereavement.’

Responding on behalf of the government, Lord McNally (Liberal Democrat) thanked members for the ‘robust but courteous’ debate. He outlined the government’s reservations, but thanked Lord Lester for bringing the bill forward.

Contains Parliamentary information licensed under the Open Parliament Licence v1.0.

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