8 What does the law provide for the property of registered and non-registered partners?

Law 3719/2008 introduced the concept of the 'free partnership agreement', which may be concluded only by adult heterosexuals. Articles 1 to 13 lay down the conditions and formalities for drafting and terminating such a free partnership agreement, and also regulate the partners' property relations and issues of alimony and parental care and provides for the inheritance rights deriving from such an agreement. Such agreements have to be drawn up in the form of authentic instruments.

Article 6 of that law specifically grants the following options:

  • 1) If the partners do not include any special provision in the free partnership agreement, during the time the agreement is in effect they remain subject to the separation of property regime both for assets acquired before the agreement and for those acquired in the future during the time the agreement is in effect or
  • 2) the partners can stipulate in the free partnership agreement that any assets to be acquired in the future during the time the agreement is in effect will belong to both of them in equal shares or
  • 3) the partners can stipulate in the agreement that, if the agreement is terminated, each party will have a claim against the other party for assets acquired during the time the agreement is in effect if he/she has contributed to their acquisition. This claim cannot arise in the heirs of the beneficiary, nor be assigned to or inherited by them, but does lie against the heirs of the obligor. The claim shall be barred two years after the dissolution of the agreement.

    As far as the rights of inheritance of the surviving partner are concerned, either on the basis of intestacy or a will, Article 11 (a provision of compulsory law) states that:

    • Where the free partnership agreement is dissolved by the death of one partner, the surviving partner will have an intestate hereditary right amounting to one sixth of the estate if there are children, to one third if there are heirs of other ranks, and to the entire estate if there are no relatives of the deceased who can be cited as intestate heirs.
    • Notwithstanding what the deceased has provided in his/her will, the surviving partner will be entitled to his/her legal share of the property which will amount to half of the intestate share corresponding to him/her.
  • 4) There are no provisions regulating the property rights of unregistered partnerships.