Co-habitee’s right to inherit

Legal advice on a co-habitees right to inherit from our family law solicitors in Dublin 9

What is a co-habitee?

A co-habitee is one or 2 adults who;

  • live together as a couple in an intimate and committed relationship
  • who are not related to each other, within the permitted degrees of relationship
  • are not married to each other

A co-habitee unlike a spouse does not have an automatic right to inherit.To be a qualified co-habitee a person must be in a relationship of co-habitation with another adult and immediately before the time that the relationship ended was living with the other adult as a couple for a period of;

  • 2 years or more where they are parents of 1 or more dependent children
  • 5 years or more

A qualified co-habitee can bring an application to court seeking that provision be made from estate of the deceased. Such application must be made no later than 6 months after the grant of probate has been extracted.

A qualified co-habitee cannot obtain a share of the deceased’s estate which is in excess of that which a spouse would be entitled to on intestacy or as a legal right share.

A co-habitee can enter a co-habitation agreement which provides that neither co-habitee will apply for an order or provision from the estate of a co-habitee. However, a court has the power to set aside such an agreement in exceptional circumstances.

Please note that this article is for information purposes only and it is essential that each case is examined on the basis of the facts particular to that case.

For further information or if you have a related legal query contact MBSolicitors.