Dublin dad to marry pal to avoid home 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 Liveline on RTE1 Radio yesterday, explaining that while they were not gay, they agreed getting married was "not a bad idea".
Matt (85) told Joe Duffy 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."
The pair's story echoes that of Hollywood film I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, in which characters played by Adam Sandler and Kevin James get married to access benefits.
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."
"I know Matt 29 years, the same age as my own daughter, and he lives in the same area. He is one of the nicest people you could ever meet in your life."
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."