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Dublin: 3°C Thursday 24 September 2020

Law that allows parents' wills to be rewritten under review

The Law Reform Commission is asking for submissions on the issue.

Image: Shutterstock/lOvE lOvE

THE PUBLIC ARE being asked to give their input on a law that allows the courts to make amendments to a parent’s will.

The Law Reform Commission is asking for submissions on Section 117 of the 1965 Succession Act which leaves a legal window open for children who feel they haven’t been given their fair share of inheritance.

Under a section of the act entitled ‘Provision for Children’, parents have a “moral duty to make proper provision for the child”.

The section of the Act makes no reference to the age of the child, and is frequently made use of by adult children.

“We are interested in hearing not only from people who are interested… in the legal aspects of this question,” said Professor Tom O’Malley from the Law Reform Commission on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

But also from people who would have expertise or ideas about the whole question of the private transmission of wealth from one generation to another.

The result of the public’s input will be a consultation document, which will also examine what happens when a parent dies without leaving a will.

At the moment inheritance is divided up equally between children.

This creates issues, O’Malley explained, as a child who might have stayed at home to look after a parent into their old age is not entitled to a larger share than a sibling who may have left home and established themselves financially.

Anyone looking to make a submission on the issue can do so through the Law Reform Commission’s website here. 

Poll: Are you worried about not having a will?

Also: What happens to your money and possessions if you die without a will

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