In general, you have fewer rights if you're living together than if you're married or in a civil partnership. Co-habitants do not have any Succession Act rights to each other’s estate on death.
While couples living together now have certain rights in the event of the death of either partner, or the breakup of your relationship, cohabiting couples do not have the same legal rights and obligations as married couples or civil partnerships, this has a bearing on important life events, including buying property, having children and inheritance.
If assets owned by co-habitants are held as joint tenants, in which case, the survivor would automatically fully own such assets in any event without going through the deceased's estate. An individual can in his/her will leave assets specifically to their co-habitant or to any other individual.
If an individual has a co-habitant and dies without leaving a will, the surviving co-habitant has no legal right to any share of the deceased's estate. The CAT threshold for co-habiting couples is €16,250.*
If you live with your partner and you do not intend to marry, you can protect your financial interests by entering into a ‘cohabitation agreement’. This is a voluntary, signed agreement, which allows you to specify the day-to-day joint financial arrangements of your relationship.
The advantage of a co-habitation agreement is that you prepare for future events while your relationship is still amicable. This should mean the plans you make are fair and reasonable to both of you.
What we can do for you
We offer expert wealth management advice to secure wealth into the future on property, investments and pensions.
We can ensure the transfer of your assets in the way you wish by effective succession planning by structuring a life assurance policy in a specific way for you.
Finally, strategic succession planning will lead to more efficient transfer of your wealth.
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LIA Factsheet: June 2022