The state Senate has approved a bill that would allow surviving domestic partners to inherit property without a will. The bill approved 22-13, sending it back to the Assembly for concurrence in Senate amendments. Under the bill, the property of a registered domestic partner who died without a will would go to the other partner, in the same manner as surviving spouses inherit. The new law would only apply to couples who had registered with the Secretary of State´s office as domestic partners. A 1999 state law created the domestic partnership registry for same-sex and unmarried straight couples over 62 years old. More than 16,000 couples have registered since then. The Legislature last year approved an expansion of legal rights for those couples that include the ability to adopt a partner´s child more easily, to get health and disability insurance coverage from private employers like married couples, to make medical treatment decisions for an incapacitated partner and to file wrongful-death lawsuits.