Succession, Wills and Inheritance of Property
The areas where issues regularly arise are as follows:
Wills and entitlements under them. This includes who applies for the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.
- If there is no will who inherits is set out in the Succession Act 1965. When someone dies without a will this is know as Intestate. In this event someone may need to apply for Letters of Administration of the intestate estate.
- Disputes arise in many ways one is if the will is unclear as to what was intended.
- Disputes arise is if there is a will and there are children who have not been properly provided for. This can include an application to the courts under s.117 of the Succession Act 1965.
- Disputes with the Executor, Executrix or Executors of the estate. The Executors are supposed to follow the wishes set out in the will. Disputes arise when beneficiaries or people getting gifts from an estate do not feel that the Executor or Administrator of the estate is administering the will as per the wishes to the deceased.
Capital Acquisitions Tax(CAT), also known as gift tax can be significant. Different relatives and groups of people get tax free allowances depending which group you fall into for Capital Acquisitions Tax(CAT) purposes. The tax free allowances are significant for close relatives such as children, further out relatives such as nephews and nieces do not qualify for such high tax free allowances and are liable to Capital Acquisitions Tax(CAT) on the gift value after the tax free allowance. The high burden of this means disputes arise in relation to the sale of assets in order to pay for the taxes. Disputes also arise in relation to issues around valuations of the items.
This is of course can be a very sensitive time for family suffering from a recent bereavement, sometimes the Mediation occurs between siblings who feel that a parents estate was not distributed fairly , even though it was per the will.
Susan worked as a solicitor for many years, one of her areas was applying for Grants to Probate and Administering the Estates of deceased people. Susan advised many clients in relation to their entitlements under the Succession Act 1965 and in relation to Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT). Susan’s experience both with Mediation and the legal side of these matters make her a very suitable choice of Mediator for disputes like this.
The mediator will help the clients
- Isolate the disputed issues.
- Discuss the options open to the parties.
- Develop and explore the options and potential consequences for same.
- Deal with any imbalance of power between the parties
- Draft and agreement if one is reached.