Fixation on property and inheritance can cause untold misery and misfortune for families
Attachment to land and property runs deep in Ireland. Taken to extremes, this fixation on property and inheritance can cause untold misery and misfortune as exemplified by the fate of Bull McCabe and his family in The Field.
And while that is an extreme example, many of us are familiar with cases where a disputed will has created lasting divisions within families.
The division of assets as valuable and 'sentimental' as the family farm is best resolved through a succession planning process that can identify and resolve any potential difficulties.
Remember that the costs of legal applications and actions in relation to wills could result in much of the estate's value being spent on legal fees.
This cost does not take account of the huge personal costs and relationship damage that they cause among nearest and dearest.
The question of property inheritance is in the headlines again due to the publication by the Law Reform Commission of recommendations that the law should be changed in this area.
If these proposals are enacted as legislation there could be significant changes in the inheritance rights of adult children and how the courts deal with disputes over wills.
Existing laws provide that a child, including an adult child, of a deceased parent who has made a will, can apply to court and claim that the parent failed in his or her "moral duty to make proper provision for the child" (in accordance with the parent's means) during the parent's lifetime.