Belfast Telegraph

Two straight Irish men in their 80s getting married to avoid paying inheritance tax

Matt and Michael, best friends for almost 30 years, will get married in January. Pic: RTE
Matt and Michael, best friends for almost 30 years, will get married in January. Pic: RTE

Two best friends in the Republic of Ireland who have decided to get married to avoid paying inheritance tax say they are "saving the State money".

Michael O'Sullivan, a father of three, is set to marry his friend Matt Murphy in January.

Both men are aged in their 80s and Michael acts as a carer for Matt.

Friends for almost 30 years they have made the decision so that Michael will inherit Matt's home in Stoneybatter, Dublin when he dies.

"When we said we would do this, you see Matt can't pay for me to care for him", Michael told Claire Byrne Live on RTE One.

"We didn't go for the Carer's Allowance because Matt would have to be examined, the house would have to be looked at and Matt's a hoarder.

"I don't even have clothes there, my clothes are in a lock-up. This was a solution, I wouldn't get paid by the carers and Matt would get looked after, otherwise Matt would be in a home by now."

Both men say they are currently on a small pension and say their idea is "saving the State money".

Michael said: "We found out from a friend of mine that she is paying €1,760 a week to stay in a nursing home, okay I could put Matt in a nursing home and then people would be paying their tax to look after him in the nursing home.

"I don't have much money and Matt can't pay me to look after him but we tried to find out how much it would cost for a 24-hour care, you're talking about a couple of thousand a week.

"We are saving the State money."

Michael first moved into Matt's house when his own apartment he was sharing was sold. He was living in his car when Matt offered him somewhere to stay.

Matt said: "He knows my moods and I thought, 'when I go, I want Michael to have this for his family'.

"They (the Government) do want old people to stay at home and have a carer coming in everyday, which isn't nice until you get to know the new people."

Neither man is gay and say they are like brothers. Michael said Matt is "one of the nicest people I've ever met, I do think he's wonderful".

"I would stand up for Michael, he's the younger brother I wish I had

"I've said it for a long time - I will fight with him but I won't let anyone else say anything about him," said Matt.

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