Two men in Ireland have announced that they intend to marry each other, even though they are both heterosexual, reports the BBC.
Rather than resulting from a romantic relationship, the marriage will take place for purely practical reasons – to allow the estate of one to pass to the other without incurring any tax liability.
One of the men, Matt, is elderly and when he dies he wants to leave his house to his good friend Michael. The two men have apparently been friends for almost 30 years, and Michael now also acts as Matt’s carer.
Matt could just leave the house to Michael in his will, but under Irish law Michael would then be liable to a 33% capital acquisitions tax on the value of the property he had inherited. However, married couples can pass on property and other assets to each other without incurring any inheritance tax. Similar provisions exist in the UK that allow married couples or couples in a civil partnership to pass on assets up to a set threshold value to the surviving spouse without incurring inheritance tax liability.
Same sex marriage has been legal in Ireland since November 2015 and the two men have decided that getting married is most effective way of transferring the property to Michael after Matt passes away.
They reportedly hope to have the marriage ceremony before Christmas, but failing that it will take place early in the New Year.
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