ELI Family and Succession Law SIG Hosts Webinar on Intestacy Rights for Unmarried Partners


The webinar of 6 June 2024 centered on legislative models for intestate rights of unmarried partners.

On the occasion, Experts from Croatia, Catalonia (Spain), Norway and Austria discussed legislative models in their jurisdictions. The webinar was organised by Gregor Christandl (University of Graz), Dorota Miler (University of Augsburg) and Denise Wiedemann (Max Planck Institute).

Hosted by the Max Planck Institute, the event opened with remarks from Gregor Christandl and an introduction by Dorota Miler, which highlighted the increasing number of unmarried partnerships in Europe and the lack of regulation regarding intestacy rights for unmarried and unregistered partners within various European jurisdictions.

Dubravka Klasiček (University of Osijek, Croatia) explained that in Croatia and in some post-Yugoslavian countries, unmarried partners are treated like married spouses under succession law but face challenges due to disputes over the required duration of the partnership. They receive an equal share in cases of intestacy and are entitled to forced heirship. Antoni Vaquer Aloy (University of Lleida) highlighted that Catalan law grants unmarried partners similar but weaker rights as compared to spouses. John Asland (University of Oslo) discussed Norway's provisions, which grant unmarried partners succession rights similar to those of spouses but with limitations. Paul Patreider (Ludwig Maximilian University) noted that Austrian law grants intestacy rights to unmarried partners only if there are no statutory heirs, with more significant rights to reside in the deceased's home.

The seminar concluded with a discussion led by Denise Wiedemann and final conclusions.