Irish men who have been friends for 30 years will marry each other to avoid inheritance tax

Irish men who have been friends for 30 years will marry each other to avoid inheritance tax

A DUBLIN father-of-three is set to marry his 85-year-old friend of almost 30 years after the pair agreed that it was the best way for a house to be passed on without incurring a hefty inheritance tax bill.

Both men spoke to Joe Duffy's Liveline on RTE1 Radio today, explaining that while they were not gay, they agreed getting married was "not a bad idea".

85 year old Matt said that Michael, who is also his carer, was "his best friend".

"I am marrying him because he will be part of my life when  I die and whatever I have, i.e. my home, there will be no problems, he can have it.

"It's a way to avoid tax. If he is to pay to look after me in my old age. I thought it was a very good thing that came into my head to say, nowadays, this is official."

Duffy asked him what would happen if Michael met a woman but Matt said his friend has assured him that even if he did, he was happy to remain as a just partners with any potential new love.

"I did ask him what would happen if he met a woman," Matt said "but he has said it would only ever be a partner for him."

Michael also spoke to Liveline and he explained that he and Matt had known each other for a very long time.

"I know Matt 29 years, the same age as my own daughter, and he lives in the same area, Stoneybatter."

"He is one of the nicest people you could ever meet in your life."

Matt went on to tell Joe Duffy that he had never married and Michael was divorced with three grown-up children.

"I never married, he was married and has a talented daughter in London, he had another partner and another daughter and son with them. They are grown up now and he is officially divorced. With the house, this is the easiest way."

Michael also explained how they came up with their marriage plan.

"Matt said to me look it, I'm going to leave you the house. I said it's a nice idea but because of tax reasons I'd have to pay half to the Government

"But once we are married, I'm his spouse then and if one partner dies, the house automatically goes to the other partner."

Michael explained to Liveline that his children were fine with his decision as they all knew Matt a very long time and know that he does love Matt.

"I love Matt, but not in a sexual way. I know him so long, I'm his carer now and as Matt said to me one day, 'it isn't a bad idea'.

The pair plan to get married in a ceremony in Tipperary next month.