There have been huge developments for same sex couples in Ireland in recent years. The Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act (“the Act”) came in to being in 2010. A Civil Partnership is the current alternative to marriage offered to same sex couples provided they comply with various requirements of the Act; similar to the requirements for a valid marriage. Part 8 of the Act deals with Succession Rights.
With regard to succession rights, a Civil Partner now legally has a right to one-half of their Partner’s Estate. In circumstances where a Partner dies intestate (without a Will) the surviving Partner is entitled to the whole of the Estate if there are no children, or two-thirds of the Estate where there are children. Therefore inheritance rights for Civil Partners are almost identical to rights enjoyed by spouses.
One important point to mention is that a Civil Partnership (like a marriage) will revoke a Will, so if you made a Will prior to your Civil Partnership, you need to make a new Will now. Please contact Susan today on 086-8377559 to discuss.
A referendum for Marriage Equality is being held in Ireland in May 2015. Just this week, the government published the wording of the referendum, to insert a new section into our Constitution stating “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.” This issue will be the subject of much debate in the coming months, however if we have regard to the current laws in place, such as discussed above, is it really that much of a leap to bring Ireland up to date with modern society?