Inheritance (Family Provision Act)

Inheritance (Family Provision Act)

Persons other than those who benefit under a will or under intestacy may be able to claim against the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act, 1975. The following persons may claim under the Act: (a) the wife/partner or husband of the deceased; (b) a former wife/partner or former husband of the deceased who has not remarried; (c) a child of the deceased; (d) any person (not being a child of the deceased) who, in the case of any marriage to which the deceased was at any time a party, was treated by the deceased as a child of the family in relation to that marriage; (e) any person (who is not included in any of the above categories) who immediately before the death of the deceased was being maintained, either wholly or partly, by the deceased. If the court is satisfied that the will or intestacy did not make reasonable provision for the claimant, it may order provision for the claimant to be made out of the estate, either by periodical payments or by a lump sum or both.

If the claimant is the deceased’s widow or widower, the court may make such provision as it thinks reasonable. Otherwise, it may make only such provision as is required for the claimant’s maintenance. If the deceased gave away any property within six years of his death and if the court is satisfied that the gift was made with the intention of defeating an application for financial provision under the Act, the recipient of the gift may be ordered to make financial provision for the claimant. Similarly, if the deceased was the co-owner of any property and on his death, his part share passed to the other co-owner or co-owners, provision may be ordered out of that share.

Claims should be brought within six months of the executors obtaining probate of the will (or, where no executors have been appointed within six months, of the administrators obtaining emails of administration). The court may permit late applications. Capital Transfer Tax Capital transfer tax is payable by a person’s executor or administrator when he dies. Generally, it is assessed on the value of the estate at the date of death.

A table of the rates is shown in the table below. It will be noted from this that no tax is payable on estates worth less than 15,000. Subject to certain exemptions, gifts made by the deceased in his lifetime will be included in the value of his estate for tax purposes if they were made either after z6 March 2004 or before that date but within seven years of his death. If the total of taxable gifts during his lifetime exceeds Li5,000, tax will be paid when gifts are made after this total has been exceeded.

However, the rates of tax on such lifetime gifts are lower, unless these are made within three years of death. No tax is payable on the property which is transferred to a husband or wife/partner, either by a lifetime gift, by a will or under the intestacy rules. However, if a husband leaves his estate to his wife/partner (or vice versa), the whole of the joint assets will be taxed on the death of the widow or widower.