Siblings inheritance rights

Discussion in 'Wills, inheritances and gifts' started by Tammy123, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. Tammy123

    Tammy123 Registered User

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    My aunt, who is quite well off, has made a will leaving everything to her son. She also has three daughters, who are her main carers and have always been very good to her. They are understandably upset that she is excluding them.

    Do they have any inheritance rights, if they were to contest the will?
     
  2. mf1

    mf1 Frequent Poster

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  3. DirectDevil

    DirectDevil Frequent Poster

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    Just a few random thoughts.

    Aunty cannot be fairly said to be excluding the girls.
    She is just not including them.
    The girls would not have a definitive or automatic right to inherit.

    The will they have accessed might not be the last will and testament ! BTW there is no particular right for any potential beneficiary to see the will or to know it's contents until the Grim Reaper has arrived.

    The girls might well be able to contest the will under S.117 as referred to by mf1.
    The core concept of S. 117 is that a court may order an effective readjustment of the will.
    Here is what subsections 1 & 2 provide specifically ;

    "(1) Where, on application by or on behalf of a child of a testator, the court is of opinion that the testator has failed in his moral duty to make proper provision for the child in accordance with his means, whether by his will or otherwise, the court may order that such provision shall be made for the child out of the estate as the court thinks just.


    (2) The court shall consider the application from the point of view of a prudent and just parent, taking into account the position of each of the children of the testator and any other circumstances which the court may consider of assistance in arriving at a decision that will be as fair as possible to the child to whom the application relates and to the other children."


    LINK to S.117 in full http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/1965/act/27/section/117/enacted/en/html#sec117

    The girls would have to initiate the proceedings and make out the case.
    That would be a potentially expensive exercise whether they win or lose.
    Any orders on costs are at the discretion of the trial judge.

    Tax is not my thing but I would wonder if this is a tax efficient will. Much depends on the specific details of the estate which seems to be of substance. The son who receives the entire estate may find himself liable for some capital taxes even though he would be in category A for exemption threshold purposes. If all four children received equal inheritances the risks of tax liabilities might be lower. However, all of this depends on the specifics of the actual estate.

    A delicate hint to Aunty about the importance of reviewing wills periodically, especially with a solicitor, might help.
    The solicitor might well point out to Aunty the potential trouble she could leave given the present legacies.
    Any potential beneficiary would probably be the wrong one to drop the hint for fear of being accused of exercising undue influence ;)

    If the last will was drafted and executed by a solicitor it is probably valid. If by any chance it was a DIY job and it is defective it may well not be admitted to probate in which case happy days for the girls :)

    Generally, these are unfortunate situations which can cause terrible bitterness within families if wills are drawn up in particular ways.
     
  4. Buddyboy

    Buddyboy Frequent Poster

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    Also, from the link supplied by MF1 (emphasis is mine)

    Presumption that parents have provided for their adult children, subject to 3 exceptions

    Reflecting the approach that emphasises the needs of the child, the Commission recommends that section 117 does not require any further reform so far as it applies to children under the age of 18. However, for a child who is over the age of 18 (or over 23, if in full time education), the Commission recommends that it is appropriate to presume that a parent has already properly provided for them. Again, applying the needs test the Commission also recommends that this presumption should be subject to 3 specified exceptions: (a) where the adult child has a particular financial need arising from their health or decision making capacity; (b) where the estate contains an item of particular sentimental value to the adult child; or (c) where the adult child had provided care and support for the deceased.
     
  5. SBarrett

    SBarrett Frequent Poster

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    What is the relationship like between son and his three sisters? Might he talk to his mum and say that while he appreciates being left everything in her will, he loves his sisters wants to continue having a relationship with them. He would fear that the fallout of inheriting the lot would result in him having no relationship with his sisters.

    It is unusual for a parent to leave everything to one child, especially if the other 3 are her carers. Is there something else to it?

    Steven
    www.bluewaterfp.ie
     
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  6. Mary55555

    Mary55555 Frequent Poster

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    Hello,

    I would wonder if the will was drafted with the aid of a solicitor.. I would have thought it might be easier ( although not easy to) challenge given that the will doesn’t mention the daughters .. normally if you want to cut someone out of your will they should left a specific amount or item.. otherwise they might be able to say she forgot/ suffered from a illness and not in full capacity..

    How did the daughters find out??? Was it something said in an argument??
     
  7. bleary

    bleary Frequent Poster

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    Not really. I've seen this a few times with women in families. Once i knew a family where houses were left to all the boys in the family. To keep them in the family. Even though they lived nowhere near the parents and never would.
    I have a relation who is primarily in touch with female relations. She tells us all the time shes leaving everything to our brothers and other male relations etc some of whom she has no relationship with.

    It's engrained in some people. While most of the care often falls to women in the family.
     
  8. Monbretia

    Monbretia Frequent Poster

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    I have an elderly uncle quite sick at the moment and he mentioned to his brother than he had his will made anyway, leaving all his property to the two sons which consists of some land and a house even though neither of them ever farmed it or even live near him. His daughter who lives beside him and I would say was the one on hand to help him most is getting nothing because sure she's a girl! Women don't need it apparently as they have husbands and property goes to sons! Not sure if he has left her some actual cash or not but definitely everything not in equal shares anyway.

    The other brother on hearing this and even though he's nearly as old (80s) told him he should change it as that was not fair at all, don't know if he did though. A very dated view.
     
  9. Tammy123

    Tammy123 Registered User

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    The girls were told by my aunt that everything was going to their brother, and that it was their (dead) father's wish. The assumption is that the girls all have husbands, as the previous poster said! Its an old fashioned view alright. Its quite a lot of value (house in south Dublin plus other properties, I don't know what else but possibly cash as well) so I imagine not at all tax efficient. That is a good point (thanks!) that I will suggest is discussed with her. The girls have said that they think its unfair but my aunt is not budging, and they don't want to have a row about it. Their brother does not want to discuss it. Thanks for your replies, I think the concern is that the value might be worth contesting but possibly not the risk of a family split.
     
  10. bleary

    bleary Frequent Poster

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    The people who should be concerned about that are the mother and son though ,not the disinherited daughters
     
  11. Mary55555

    Mary55555 Frequent Poster

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    Hello,

    Just a point to add.. as someone else mentioned it’s not very tax efficient and the son may well have to sell some of the property to finance the eventual capital acquisition tax bill..

    I suppose consideration could be given with regard to the son disclaiming his benefits under the will it might then fall under the rules of intestate ( everyone of the son/ daughters getting a share).. but a lot of that clearly depends on the drafting of the will firstly and the sons willingness secondly ..

    An utterly unfair situation..
     
  12. Marsha25

    Marsha25 Frequent Poster

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    Well if the brother doesn't want to discuss it I'd say his views are clear - he'll be happy to keep the lot. They should tell their mother that they will absolutely contest it and no doubt it will cause havoc within the family and see how she feels then. If she thinks so little of her daughters I'd be leaving the son to look after her.
     
  13. major

    major Registered User

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    Large farms are usually left to one son as well ,and usually the families are large as well,wonder will that practice change and land value divided between siblings
     
  14. DirectDevil

    DirectDevil Frequent Poster

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    Good point with potential trouble.

    If the son got a fit of conscience - post mortem the testator - and tried to make settlements with his sisters there might be a huge tax disadvantage.

    As matters stand all four children are in category A as regards their mother. Category A threshold is €310,000 for each child receiving inheritance. However, if the brother was to try - post mortem the testator - to make gifts to his sisters they would be in category B (as regards each other) for which the exemption threshold is €32,500. Quite a difference.
     
  15. Mary55555

    Mary55555 Frequent Poster

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    Hello .. directdevil.. I think you missed my entire point. I was not suggesting the son gifts to his sisters .. rather he renounce the specific bequest under the will.. and then depending on how will is drafted ( which as I pointed out is a big if) the residue might be split equally between all siblings or it might fall under the rules of intestate..in this situation the category A threshold would apply..
     
  16. Vanessa

    Vanessa Frequent Poster

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    Well maybe its time her precious son started earning his inheritance and start minding her seeing as she is freezing out the three daughters
     
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  17. DirectDevil

    DirectDevil Frequent Poster

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    I understand your point and agree with you entirely.

    I was galloping ahead to the next scenario where the will stands, the testator dies, the girls threaten their brother al la S.117 and he is not conceding as per your suggestion. If he tries to dispose of them on a nuisance basis (relative to the value of the estate) to forestall litigation it could prove quite inefficient tax wise if it is done the wrong way.
     
  18. DirectDevil

    DirectDevil Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
    BTW does the son reside permanently with his mother ? If so, is that scheme still in place whereby if he meets certain conditions he can enjoy a tax exemption on acquiring the inherited house ? If so, that would leave an exceptionally sour taste and make him what was once termed an "inheritance brat" !

    P.S. Just checked. The scheme still seems to operate. Link https://www.revenue.ie/en/tax-professionals/tdm/capital-acquisitions-tax/cat-part24.pdf
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
  19. Tebbit

    Tebbit Frequent Poster

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    At least in this case they all know what's in the will before the Aunt dies - there will be no shock on her death or bewilderment as to why it wasn't done more fairly. She has told them straight out. Because they know already they MAY be able to maintain the family relationships. In many cases people die and no one knows what's in the will and this creates terrible problems and splits in the family. They are shocked and angered when they hear the will. Very often most is left to the boy even though they may not have done any caring, nor even been around for years! I think what she's doing is very unfair.
     
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