The Smart Move for Cohabiting Couples

by | Aug 27, 2020 | mortgages

Did you know that generally only married couples and registered civil partners are exempt from inheritance tax?

This means if you are living with your partner and are not married to them, or in a registered civil partnership, you may have to pay inheritance tax, even if you jointly own a house.

Couples that live together and are not married or in a registered civil partnership, are often referred to as cohabiting couples. When it comes to inheritance tax, cohabiting couples pay 33% on an inheritance above the current threshold of €16,250.

If you are a cohabiting couple and the Dwelling House Exemption does not apply to you, it is possible to structure your Mortgage Protection in a way that would help to fund, and in some circumstances may even reduce, your inheritance tax liability. Unfortunately, many couples do not have their cover structured correctly which could lead to problems in the future.

Under the Dwelling House Exemption rules it may be possible to inherit the family home from your cohabiting partner without paying inheritance tax. You qualify for the exemption if:

  1. The house was the only or main home of the person who died
  2. You do not own, have an interest or share in any other house, including the one you acquired as part of the same inheritance
  3. The house is your main home for six years after you receive the inheritance. This does not apply if you are over 65.

For more information about protecting your finances as a cohabiting couple please contact us by calling 025-30588 or book a complimentary chat here.


Oaktree Financial Services Ltd is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

All content provided in these blog posts is intended for information purposes only and should not be interpreted as financial advice. You should always engage the services of a fully qualified financial adviser before entering any financial contract. Oaktree Financial Services Ltd will not be held responsible for any actions taken as a result of reading these blog posts.

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