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Rules of Inheritance

Very simply – if no will, what happens? If there is a will – what happens? James.

If there is no will: - If there is a wife* and no children – wife gets all

If there is a wife and children – wife gets two thirds and children get one third divided between them. 

If there is no wife but there are children – children get one hundred per cent divided equally between them.

If there is no wife and no children – parents inherit all.

If there is no wife or children or parents living – then the entire estate is divided equally between brothers and sisters. 

 

If there is a will: The terms of the will rule the estate, subject to two important requirements:

If there is a wife and there are children then she is entitled to a minimum of one third of the estate.  If there is a wife and no children she is entitled to a minimum of half of the estate.

Children have a general right for recognition in the will under Section 117 of the Succession Act 1965.  If the parent has “failed in his or her moral obligation to a particular child” by not recognising them properly in the will, the Court has a right to make such award to that child or children as “a prudent and just parent would provide”.

If there is no wife (pre-deceased or as mither of the children is a non marital partner) but with children living, again the will rules, subject to Section 117 of the Succession Act 1965.  If there is no wife and no children then the will rules without any restrictions.

*This question is asked by a male listener. The rules of testacy and intestacy of course apply equall to the surviving husband of a deceased wife. 

For further information on Section 117, read the section here:

http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1965/en/act/pub/0027/sec0117.html#zza27y1965s117

For further information on intestacy, read the Rules of Intestacy in the Succession Act 1965 (sections 66 to 75).

http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1965/en/act/pub/0027/index.html

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