Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
O'Sullivan, K
Common Law World Review
‘Spousal Disinheritance Protections under Irish Law: A proposal for reform’
Optional Fields
forced heirship, succession law, spousal protection, surviving spouse, family property law

Ireland is unusual in a succession law context as despite being a common law jurisdiction Irish succession law applies a comprehensive system of forced heirship for spouses under the Succession Act 1965. However, despite the strengths inherent in such a regime, shortcomings have emerged. This paper considers the position of the surviving spouse who has been disinherited and the challenges they face in Ireland in the application of the legal right share towards the appropriation of the family home. In light of the difficulties identified, the paper proposes a new and alternative approach based on the provision of a preferential share representing a fixed monetary sum, subject to limitations. The proposal is then tested from both a theoretical and practical perspective. This paper concludes that the implementation of such a proposal, as an alternative to the legal right share, would eradicate the most striking weaknesses inherent in the current regime and should be afforded serious consideration.

Grant Details