But now that’s he’s passed away, myself and my siblings have to take over and sort out their affairs.
Can you advise me on what I should do on this matter and what my mother’s rights are as a bystander in this sensitive issue, or even if I or my siblings are entitled to be updated of the status of my grandfather’s will.
Also, at this point I’m beginning to wonder if there is anything of the original estate left or if legal fees are eating into it.
Where do I go about getting a straight answer, or am I even entitled to one?
Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, your family’s situation and that of an unsatisfied beneficiary of a Will is not an uncommon story. It is made even more complicated and stressful by the passing of your father leaving you, the next generation, to deal with the matter.
At the outset, there is no point at which the State will get involved in a Will dispute. There is a common misconception that if someone dies without a Will, or there is a legal battle over a Will, that the State can take some or all of the property. This is not the case.
The only time the State will get the property of a deceased person is when they pass away with no known relatives whatsoever. Efforts will made to locate any relatives of the deceased before any property will pass to the State. When someone dies without a Will, the Succession Act sets out the order in which next of kin may benefit. If the deceased has any relatives, then the estate will be divided equally between them.
With regard to the €8,000 left to your father by your grandfather, as he survived his father and then died, this €8,000 will go to his Estate to be distributed according to his Will, or if he died without a Will, then to the according to the rules of intestacy. You have said that you have been told that your mum is to inherit your father’s share therefore I presume your father made a Will leaving everything to her.
You say your mother is in a nursing home and not in the best of health and you and your siblings must take over to sort out their affairs. I query whether your mother is of sound mind or is she mentally incapacitated, i.e. is she able to make her own decisions?
If she is of sound mind, then your mother, as the person now entitled to your father’s inheritance, could reasonably seek an update from the solicitor for your grandfather’s Estate of the status of the administration of the Estate. Unfortunately, you and your siblings, as you are not beneficiaries, are not entitled to obtain this information.
If your mother is mentally incapacitated, then you are in further difficulty particularly if your mother did not execute an Enduring Power of Attorney nominating someone to act as her Attorney in the event she becomes mentally incapacitated. If this is the case, it would be prudent to seek advices from your mother’s solicitor on her particular circumstances.
With regard to legal fees, they are generally paid from the Estate of the deceased. You don’t say whether or not Court proceedings have been issued by your aunt, but generally the legal costs for such proceedings can be taken from the Estate of the deceased if the Court is satisfied that there were reasonable grounds for starting the proceedings and same were conducted in a bona fide manner.
Deirdre Flynn is from a farming background and practices as a Solicitor at Deirdre Flynn Solicitors, 4 Ivy Terrace, Tralee, Co. Kerry Tel: 066 7115695 Email: email@example.com
The information in this article is intended as a general guide only. While every care is taken to ensure accuracy of information provided, Deirdre Flynn does not accept responsibility for errors or omissions howsoever arising. You should seek legal advice in relation to your particular circumstances at the earliest possible time.