Inheritance Law in Ireland
Inheritance Law in IrelandUpdated on Friday 01st April 2016
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Inheritance legislation designates the way in which successors of a deceased person can inherit the ownership rights over various assets; the legislation provides a framework in this sense applicable to close members of the family, who are usually entitled to the properties and other assets of their departed relative.
Inheritance can be also obtained through a written will, a legal document drafted by the owner of the assets; in order for such a document to be legally recognized, the testator (the person writing the will) has to present his will in front of a legal representative, who can certify that the document has been written down in accordance with the rules of the Succession Act 1965. Persons interested in the inheritance legislation applicable in Ireland can receive assistance on this matter from our team of Irish solicitors.
Writing a testament in Ireland
The Irish Succession Act 1965 is the main rule of law related to the way in which a testament has to be drafted. Although such a document is written in accordance with the wishes of the testator, the person still has to respect several provisions. For example, a married testator will be required to leave a part of the assets to his or her spouse; if this is not stipulated in the document, the spouse will be entitled to claim a share of the testator’s assets.
If the persons are not married, the testator will have to designate a specific bequest for his or her partner in order for that person to receive a share of the assets.
The inheritance legislation stipulates that a testator is also not obliged to pass on assets to his or her children, although they can claim afterwards their right to the inheritance on various grounds.
Except for the above mentioned stipulations, a testator can leave his assets (which can refer to real estate properties, valuable objects, money, etc.) according to his or her wishes; our team of Irish attorneys can assist you with the main legal obligations which have to be fulfilled by a testator.
The Irish Succession Act 1965
The inheritance legislation is applicable under the Succession Act, a document which prescribes the way in which family members can inherit the assets of a deceased person. The act describes the types of real estate which can be left as an inheritance and the way in which such assets can be legally obtained (for instance, the transfer of ownership of a land parcel inherited by a person is completed under the legislation of the Registration of Title Act).
Inheritance tax in Ireland
Persons entitled to an inheritance in Ireland are required to pay an inheritance tax, in accordance with the asset given by the testator and the relationship the person is having with the testator. As such, a spouse or the civil partner of a deceased person are not required to pay a tax for the inherited assets, while other beneficiaries are liable to taxation in accordance with the value of the assets.
If you need further information on the inheritance legislation applicable in Ireland, please contact our Irish law office for legal assistance on this matter.