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Q: UK and Irish Probate/Inheritance ( No Answer,   7 Comments )
Subject: UK and Irish Probate/Inheritance
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: gflux-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 04 Sep 2006 09:06 PDT
Expires: 04 Oct 2006 09:06 PDT
Question ID: 762095
When my father (an Irishman who lived and worked in the UK) passed
away suddenly he did not leave a will i.e. intestate. My mother (his
wife) therefore inherits his entire estate according to UK law.
However, my father also owned a plot of land in Ireland, which he had
always intended to pass to his four children, according to my mother.
She is happy for this to happen, but the family is confused about
which rules apply, as according to this site
both wife and children would inherit.

1) is the inheritance of this land covered by Irish or British law?
2) can my mother state that it was intended for the children, even
though a will was not prepared?
3) what is the best way forward to get this sorted out? Should we
contact a solicitor in Ireland/England?

There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: UK and Irish Probate/Inheritance
From: probonopublico-ga on 04 Sep 2006 09:48 PDT
First, you should take advice from a UK solicitor because there may
also be the question of Inheritance Tax (IT) to consider, if the value
of the Estate is over 285,000 (which seems likely). In which case, IT
will take 40% of the execess. Quite a lot!

The children, as well as the Widow, may benefit if the Estate is over
a certain value.

However, your Mother can waive all or part of her entitlement under
the Intestacy so that the Irish property (for example) could devolve
exclusively to the Deceased's children.

I don't know how the Irish property can be best handled but a good
solicitor should be able to sort things out.

Incidentally, it is worth shopping around because solicitors' fees
vary enormously and the dearest are not always best.

Forget the Law Society, they will just direct you to the nearest one.

Solicitors are NOTORIOUS for dragging things out so emphasise that you
are looking for someone who can deliver!

You can help by getting valuations for all your father's assets and
also by listing his liabilities, including the funeral expenses.

However, do not 'meddle' with the Estate!

Best of Luck

Subject: Re: UK and Irish Probate/Inheritance
From: mongolia-ga on 04 Sep 2006 09:50 PDT

I would have thought the easiest way to sort it out is to let the law
takes it course (where the plot of land is divided between your Mother
and the four children)

At this point your Mother can then decide if shes wishes to sign over
her ownership of the plot of land to her four children (if that is
what she wishes to do).

A more thorny issue may be agreement between the four children as to
what will happen to the plot of land given its four way ownership. If
this has been sorted out then apologies for my comment.

If not I would seek the advice of a very good solicitor.


Subject: Re: UK and Irish Probate/Inheritance
From: probonopublico-ga on 04 Sep 2006 09:55 PDT
Hi Mongolia

Sorry to disagree but 'letting the law take its course' may not be the
best solution!

As I said in my comment, the Widow can waive all or part of her
entitlement under English law and this may be a useful option.

Subject: Re: UK and Irish Probate/Inheritance
From: mongolia-ga on 04 Sep 2006 10:16 PDT
Hello Bryan

I am sure you are much more knowledgeable in these matters than i :-)

The only reason for my suggestion is that it gives the mother some
time to think about her ownership of the plot of land. Now if as our
questioner has stated (and it is not for me to disagree) then his
mother will have no problem signing over the plot to her 4 offspring.

If however she wished to keep the part of the plot of land that is her
ABSOLUTE right both morallly and by the laws of England. All prior
conversations by the family are and should be irrelevent. By allowing
part of the plot of land come into the possession of the Mother will
give her time to decide what she believes is the right thing to do.


Subject: Re: UK and Irish Probate/Inheritance
From: probonopublico-ga on 04 Sep 2006 10:31 PDT
Hi, Again, Mongolia

Allowing the Land, for example, to devolve to the Mother COULD run up
some additional costs (and taxes) if the Mother should later decide to
transfer it to the children.

However, her option to waive part of her entitlement to the Estate can
(I believe under English Law) be exercised within 2 years of the death
of the Deceased.

This might be an attractive option!

However, Chris hasn't given us any idea of the values involved and
these might throw a different complexion on things.

Certainly, he needs to see an English solicitor soonest, provided that
he has got the blessing of his Mother and his siblings that the costs
can be charged to the Estate.

Subject: Re: UK and Irish Probate/Inheritance
From: probonopublico-ga on 04 Sep 2006 22:04 PDT
Some further thoughts:

It's possible that some or part of the Land might have to be disposed
of to help pay the Estate Duties;

In any event some of the children may prefer cash to a share of the Land;

Can the Land be sensibly divided, so that part can be sold off, if
required? (But watch out for the risk of creating 'Ransom Strips'.)

I would suggest that, while you should certainly get the advice of a
solicitor, it may not be a good idea to appoint him as the
Administrator, a job that can be handled by one or two of the
beneficiaries, subject to all round agreement of the others.

This should be a lot quicker and cheaper than entrusting the whole
shooting match to one solicitor: because once the appointment is made,
that's it ... the bill will soon mount up.

Apart from specialist advice (most important!) and maybe arranging the
conveyancing, there's not much else involved except writing lots of
letters and sending copies of the Death Certificate and the Probate to
all concerned.

Please remember that solicitors charge heavily for writing letters
and, of course, they will therefore enjoy writing as many as they can.

Subject: Re: UK and Irish Probate/Inheritance
From: owain-ga on 11 Sep 2006 05:59 PDT
Please note that English and Scottish law are very different in this
field, so you will need to take appropriate advice for the part of the
UK in which your father lived.

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