Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
O'Sullivan, K
Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law
‘’Til Death do us Part’: Surviving Spouses, Civil Partners & Provision on Intestacy in Ireland'
Optional Fields
Succession law; Intestacy; Property law; Family property; Mixed families; Ireland; Inheritance

The Succession Act 1965 brought, it was said, a ‘revolutionary change’ in the law of succession to Ireland (Re Urquhart [1974] IR 197 at 208). However, despite the enormous impact it has had on citizens, in the fifty years since its enactment, the Act has never been subject to a comprehensive review or reform. This lack of legislative engagement in Ireland stands in marked contrast to a number of other common law jurisdictions. In the past decade alone, the Law Commission for England and Wales (2011), the Scottish Law Commission (2009), the New South Wales Law Reform Commission (2007) and the British Columbia Law Institute (2006) have each placed their respective succession law regimes under the microscope. Responding to this gap in the literature, this article considers the extent to which surviving spouses or civil partners are adequately protected on intestacy, specifically, in Ireland. Highlighting the potentially serious shortcomings of the Irish fractional share approach, and drawing on the experience of a number of common law jurisdictions, the article presents a proposal for reform. In this regard, it places a particular focus on the need to strike an appropriate balance between the competing interests of spouses/civil partners and children in the distribution of an intestate estate.

Grant Details