If you’re in a relationship with somebody, you may be entitled to a share of their estate when they die regardless of whether they have made provision for you in their will. Married couples automatically have a right to a share in their spouse’s estate and now thanks to a change in the Irish law, same sex couples and cohabitants have similar rights.
If you are a cohabitant, you do not automatically have a right to your partner’s estate. However the 2010 cohabitation legislation has allowed cohabitants to make an application to court for provision out of the deceased partner’s estate. In order to qualify you will need to be living with your partner for two years if you have children or five years if you do not have children. However, you must make the application within six months of the grant of probate; therefore time is of the essence.
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Listen to our Family Law Partner Helen Coughlan who gave an interview to KFM in July 2021 about the laws that apply to cohabiting couples:
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