Succession Act 1965


Number 27 of 1965


SUCCESSION ACT 1965

REVISED

Updated to 2 November 2017


This Revised Act is an administrative consolidation of the Succession Act 1965. It is prepared by the Law Reform Commission in accordance with its function under the Law Reform Commission Act 1975 (3/1975) to keep the law under review and to undertake revision and consolidation of statute law.

All Acts up to and including Mediation Act 2017 (27/2017), enacted 2 October 2017, and all statutory instruments up to and including Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 (Commencement) (No. 2) Order 2017 (S.I. No. 474 of 2017), made 2 November 2017, were considered in the preparation of this Revised Act.

Disclaimer: While every care has been taken in the preparation of this Revised Act, the Law Reform Commission can assume no responsibility for and give no guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up to date nature of the information provided and does not accept any liability whatsoever arising from any errors or omissions. Please notify any errors, omissions and comments by email to

revisedacts@lawreform.ie.


Number 27 of 1965


SUCCESSION ACT 1965

REVISED

Updated to 2 November 2017


Introduction

This Revised Act presents the text of the Act as it has been amended since enactment, and preserves the format in which it was passed.

Related legislation

This Act is not collectively cited with any other Act.

Annotations

This Revised Act is annotated and includes textual and non-textual amendments, statutory instruments made pursuant to the Act and previous affecting provisions.

An explanation of how to read annotations is available at

www.lawreform.ie/annotations.

Material not updated in this revision

Where other legislation is amended by this Act, those amendments may have been superseded by other amendments in other legislation, or the amended legislation may have been repealed or revoked. This information is not represented in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the amended legislation if one is available.

Where legislation or a fragment of legislation is referred to in annotations, changes to this legislation or fragment may not be reflected in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the legislation referred to if one is available.

A list of legislative changes to any Act, and to statutory instruments from 1993, may be found linked from the page of the Act or statutory instrument at

www.irishstatutebook.ie.

Acts which affect or previously affected this revision

Marriage Act 2015 (35/2015)

Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 (9/2015)

Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 (24/2010)

Adoption Act 2010 (21/2010)

Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 (27/2009)

Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2008 (14/2008)

Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 (31/2004)

Capital Acquisitions Tax Consolidation Act 2003 (1/2003)

Electronic Commerce Act 2000 (27/2000)

Family Law (Miscellaneous) Act 1997 (18/1997)

Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996 (33/1996)

Family Law Act 1995 (26/1995)

Building Societies Act 1989 (17/1989)

Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act 1989 (6/1989)

Status of Children Act 1987 (26/1987)

Age of Majority Act 1985 (2/1985)

Courts Act 1981 (11/1981)

Capital Acquisitions Tax Act 1976 (8/1976)

Courts Act 1971 (36/1971)

All Acts up to and including Mediation Act 2017 (27/2017), enacted 2 October 2017, were considered in the preparation of this revision.

Statutory instruments which affect or previously affected this revision

Finance (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2015 (S.I. No. 318 of 2015)

District Probate Registries (Places and Districts) Order 1966 (S.I. No. 274 of 1966)

Succession Act 1965 (Commencement) Order 1966 (S.I. No. 168 of 1966)

All statutory instruments up to and including Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 (Commencement) (No. 2) Order 2017 (S.I. No. 474 of 2017), made 2 November 2017, were considered in the preparation of this revision.


Number 27 of 1965.


SUCCESSION ACT 1965

REVISED

Updated to 2 November 2017


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Part I

Preliminary and General

Section

1.

Short title.

2.

Commencement.

3.

Interpretation.

4.

Meaning of “ real estate” and “ estate or interest”.

4A.

Succession rights.

5.

Presumption of simultaneous death in cases of uncertainty.

6.

Jurisdiction.

7.

Expenses.

8.

Repeals.

9.

Savings.

Part II

Devolution of Real and Personal Estate on Death

10.

Devolution of real and personal estate.

11.

Abolition of existing rules of descent, escheat, etc.

12.

Further assimilation of law respecting real and personal estates of deceased persons.

13.

Vesting of estate between death and grant of administration.

14.

Construction of references to estates of deceased persons.

15.

Construction of references to heirs.

Part III

Executors and Administrators

16.

Summons to executor to prove or renounce.

17.

Cesser of right of executor to prove.

18.

Withdrawal of renunciation.

19.

Death of sole or last surviving executor.

20.

Right of proving executors to exercise powers.

21.

Executor not to act while administration is in force.

22.

Protection of persons acting on probate or administration.

23.

Liability of person fraudulently obtaining or retaining estate of deceased.

24.

Liability of estate of personal representative.

25.

Validity of conveyance not affected by revocation of representation.

Part IV

Grants of Representation

26.

Grants of probate.

27.

Grants of administration.

27A.

Entitlement to grant of probate or administration.

28.

Representation of real and personal estate separately or together.

29.

Power to grant representation where no estate.

30.

Power to grant representation to a trust corporation.

31.

Grant of special administration where personal representative is abroad.

32.

Administration during minority of executor.

33.

Continuance of legal proceedings after revocation of temporary administration.

34.

Administration bonds.

35.

Applications for grants and revocations.

36.

Grants in district probate registries.

37.

Second and subsequent grants.

38.

Caveats.

39.

Calendars of grants.

40.

Copies of wills, etc., to be delivered to Revenue Commissioners.

41.

Issue of grants of representation in case of Circuit Court decrees.

42.

Deposit and inspection of wills and other documents.

43.

Official copies of wills and grants.

44.

Trial by jury of questions of fact.

Part V

Administration of Assets

45.

Estate of deceased to be assets for payment of debts and legal right.

46.

Administration of assets.

47.

Charges on property of deceased to be paid primarily out of the property charged.

48.

Causes of action surviving on death.

49.

Distribution of assets after notice to creditors.

50.

Powers of personal representatives to sell and to act as trustees.

51.

Protection of purchasers.

52.

General provisions as to assent or transfer by personal representatives.

53.

Special provisions as to unregistered land.

54.

Special provisions as to registered land.

55.

Powers of personal representatives as to appropriation.

56.

Right of surviving spouse to require dwelling and household chattels to be appropriated.

57.

Appointment by personal representatives of trustees of infant's property.

58.

Powers of trustees of infant's property.

59.

Right to follow property.

60.

Powers to deal with estate, etc.

61.

Purchasers from personal representatives.

62.

Time allowed for distribution.

63.

Advancements to children to be brought into account.

64.

Duty of personal representatives as to inventory.

65.

Administration on behalf of the State.

Part VI

Distribution on Intestacy

66.

Rules for distribution on intestacy.

67.

Shares of surviving spouse and issue.

67A.

Shares of surviving civil partner and issue.

67B.

Share of issue where no surviving spouse or surviving civil partner.

68.

Shares of parents.

69.

Shares of brothers and sisters and their children.

70.

Shares of next-of-kin.

71.

Ascertainment of next-of-kin.

72.

Half-blood.

72A.

Distribution of disclaimed estate.

73.

State as ultimate intestate successor.

74.

Partial intestacy.

75.

Construction of documents.

Part VII

Wills

76.

Property which may be disposed of by will.

77.

Capacity to make a will.

78.

Signing and witnessing will.

79.

Appointments by will.

80.

Publication of will not necessary.

81.

Will not void on account of incompetency of witness.

82.

Gifts to an attesting witness, or spouse of witness, to be void.

83.

Creditor attesting will charging estate with debts admissible as witness.

84.

Executor admissible as witness.

85.

Revocation of will.

86.

Alterations in will after execution.

87.

Revoked will not revived otherwise than by re-execution or codicil.

88.

Subsequent conveyance or other act not to prevent operation of will.

89.

Will to speak from death of testator.

90.

Extrinsic evidence as to will.

91.

Residuary devise or bequest to include estate comprised in lapsed and void gifts.

92.

General devise of land to include leasehold as well as freehold.

93.

General gift of realty or personalty to include property over which testator has general power of appointment.

94.

Devise of real estate without words of limitation to pass whole estate.

95.

Creation of estates tail.

96.

Meaning of “ die without issue”.

97.

Devise of estate tail not to lapse where inheritable issue survives.

98.

Gifts to children or other issue who leave issue living at testator's death.

99.

Interpretation of devise or bequest in case of doubt.

100.

Restriction on executory limitations.

Part VIII

Conflict of Laws Relating to Testamentary Dispositions

101.

“Testamentary disposition”.

102.

Validity as regards form.

103.

Dispositions made on board vessel or aircraft.

104.

Exercise of power of appointment.

105.

Joint dispositions.

106.

Effect of restrictions on capacity.

107.

Construction of testamentary disposition.

108.

Effect of testamentary disposition under Part VII.

Part IX

Legal Right of Testator's Spouse and Provision for Children

109.

Application of Part IX.

110.

Legitimated, illegitimate and adopted persons.

111.

Right of surviving spouse.

111A.

Right of surviving civil partner.

112.

Priority of legal right.

113.

Renunciation of legal right.

113A.

Renunciation of legal right.

114.

Effect of devise or bequest to spouse.

115.

Election between legal right and rights under a will and on partial intestacy.

116.

Provision in satisfaction of legal right.

117.

Provision for children.

118.

Estate duty.

119.

Proceedings to be in chambers.

Part X

Unworthiness to Succeed and Disinheritance

120.

Exclusion of persons from succession.

121.

Dispositions for purpose of disinheriting spouse or children.

122.

Proceedings to be in chambers.

Part XI

Limitation of Actions

123.

Personal representative, as such, not a trustee under Statute of Limitations, 1957.

124.

“Trustees” in Statute of Limitations, 1957, not to include a bailiff.

125.

Persons entitled to shares in land.

126.

Actions in respect of estates of deceased persons.

127.

Limitation period in case of disability.

Part XII

Provisions Relating to Probate Office and District Probate Registries

128.

Assistant Probate Officer.

129.

District probate registries.

130.

Fees to be taken at district probate registries.

131.

Acting district probate registrars.

FIRST SCHEDULE

Rules as to Application of Assets

SECOND SCHEDULE

Repeals

Acts Referred to

Associated Bank under the Central Bank Act, 1942

1942, No. 22.

Companies Act, 1963

1963, No. 33.

Bodies Corporate (Executors and Administrators) Act, 1928

1928, No. 9.

Public Records (Ireland) Act, 1867

1867, c. 70.

Civil Liability Act, 1961

1961, No. 41.

Registration of Title Act, 1964

1964, No. 16.

Registration of Deeds Act, 1707

1707, c. 2.

Conveyancing Act, 1881

1881, c. 41.

Rent Restrictions Act, 1960

1960, No. 42.

State Property Act, 1954

1954, No. 25.

Intestates' Estates Act, 1954

1954, No. 12.

Legitimacy Act, 1931

1931, No. 13.

Adoption Act, 1952

1952, No. 25.

Statute of Limitations, 1957

1957, No. 6.

Courts of Justice Act, 1936

1936, No. 48.

Court Officers Act, 1926

1926, No. 27.

Administration of Estates Act, 1959

1959, No. 8.

Court Officers Act, 1945

1945, No. 25.

Court Officers Act, 1951

1951, No. 8.


Number 27 of 1965.


SUCCESSION ACT 1965

REVISED

Updated to 2 November 2017


AN ACT TO REFORM THE LAW RELATING TO SUCCESSION TO THE PROPERTY OF DECEASED PERSONS AND, IN PARTICULAR, THE DEVOLUTION, ADMINISTRATION, TESTAMENTARY DISPOSITION AND DISTRIBUTION ON INTESTACY OF SUCH PROPERTY, AND TO PROVIDE FOR RELATED MATTERS. [22 nd December, 1965.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:—

Annotations:

Modifications (not altering text):

C1

Application of Act to certain instruments not affected (20.09.2000) by Electronic Commerce Act 2000 (27/2000), s. 10, S.I. No. 293 of 2000.

Excluded laws.

10.—(1) Sections 12 to 23 are without prejudice to—

( a) the law governing the creation, execution, amendment, variation or revocation of—

(i) a will, codicil or any other testamentary instrument to which the Succession Act, 1965, applies,

(ii) a trust, or

(iii) an enduring power of attorney,

( b) the law governing the manner in which an interest in real property (including a leasehold interest in such property) may be created, acquired, disposed of or registered, other than contracts (whether or not under seal) for the creation, acquisition or disposal of such interests,

( c) the law governing the making of an affidavit or a statutory or sworn declaration, or requiring or permitting the use of one for any purpose, or

( d) the rules, practices or procedures of a court or tribunal,

except to the extent that regulations under section 3 may from time to time prescribe.

C2

Application of Act not affected in certain circumstances by Family Law Act 1995 (26/1995), s. 15A, as inserted (27.02.1997) by Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996 (33/1996), commenced 3 months after enactment.

Orders for provision for spouse out of estate of other spouse.

15A.—(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, where, following the grant of a decree of judicial separation, a court makes an order under section 14 in relation to the spouses concerned and one of the spouses dies, the court, on application to it in that behalf by the other spouse ('the applicant') not more than 6 months after representation is first granted under the Act of 1965 in respect of the estate of the deceased spouse, may by order make such provision for the applicant out of the estate of the deceased spouse as it considers appropriate having regard to the rights of any other person having an interest in the matter and specifies in the order if it is satisfied that proper provision in the circumstances was not made for the applicant during the lifetime of the deceased spouse under section 8, 9, 10 (1) (a), 11 or 12 for any reason (other than conduct referred to in subsection (2) (i) of section 16 of the applicant).

...

C3

Application of Act not affected in certain circumstances (27.02.1997) by Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996 (33/1996), s. 18, commenced 3 months after enactment.

Orders for provision for spouse out of estate of other spouse.

18.—(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, where one of the spouses in respect of whom a decree of divorce has been granted dies, the court, on application to it in that behalf by the other spouse (“the applicant”) not more than 6 months after representation is first granted under the Act of 1965 in respect of the estate of the deceased spouse, may by order make such provision for the applicant out of the estate of the deceased spouse as it considers appropriate having regard to the rights of any other person having an interest in the matter and specifies in the order if it is satisfied that proper provision in the circumstances was not made for the applicant during the lifetime of the deceased spouse under section 13, 14, 15, 16 or 17 for any reason (other than conduct referred to in subsection (2) (i) of section 20 of the applicant).

...

C4

Application of Act restricted (1.08.1996) by Family Law Act 1995 (26/1995), s. 14, S.I. No. 46 of 1996.

Orders extinguishing succession rights on judicial separation.

14.—On granting a decree of judicial separation or at any time thereafter, the court may, on application to it in that behalf by either of the spouses concerned, make an order extinguishing the share that either of the spouses would otherwise be entitled to in the estate of the other spouse as a legal right or on intestacy under the Act of 1965 if—

(a) it is satisfied that adequate and reasonable financial provision exists or can be made under section 8, 9, 10 (1) (a), 11, 12 or 13 for the spouse whose succession rights are in question (“the spouse concerned”),

(b) the spouse concerned is a spouse for the support of whom the court refused to make an order under section 8, 9, 10 (1) (a), 11, 12 or 13, or

(c) it is satisfied that the spouse concerned is not a spouse for whose benefit the court would, if an application were made to it in that behalf, make an order under section 8, 9, 10 (1) (a), 11, 12 or 13.

C5

Rights of spouses under Act confirmed not affected (1.08.1996) by Family Law Act 1995 (26/1995), s. 48, S.I. No. 46 of 1996.

Property of engaged couples.

48.—For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that the reference in section 5 (1) of the Family Law Act, 1981, to the rules of law relating to the rights of spouses in relation to property in which either or both of them has or have a beneficial interest shall relate and be deemed always to have related only to the rules of law for the determination of disputes between spouses, or a claim by one of them, in relation to the beneficial ownership of property in which either or both of them has or have a beneficial interest and, in particular, does not relate, and shall be deemed never to have related, to the rules of law relating to the rights of spouses under the Act of 1965, the Family Home Protection Act, 1976, the Act of 1989 or this Act.

C6

Application of Act restricted (19.10.1989) by Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act 1989 (6/1989), s. 17, commenced as per s. 46(2).

Order extinguishing succession rights.

17.—(1) On granting a decree of judicial separation, or at any time thereafter, the court shall, on the application of either spouse, consider whether it should make an order extinguishing the share that either spouse would otherwise be entitled to in the estate of the other spouse as a legal right or on intestacy under the Succession Act, 1965.

...