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27 1965



Unworthiness to Succeed and Disinheritance

Exclusion of persons from succession.


120. —(1) A sane person who has been guilty of the murder, attempted murder or manslaughter of another shall be precluded from taking any share in the estate of that other, except a share arising under a will made after the act constituting the offence, and shall not be entitled to make an application under section 117.

(2) A spouse against whom the deceased obtained a decree of divorce a mensa et thoro, a spouse who failed to comply with a decree of restitution of conjugal rights obtained by the deceased and a spouse guilty of desertion which has continued up to the death for two years or more shall be precluded from taking any share in the estate of the deceased as a legal right or on intestacy.

(3) A spouse who was guilty of conduct which justified the deceased in separating and living apart from him shall be deemed to be guilty of desertion within the meaning of subsection (2).

(4) A person who has been found guilty of an offence against the deceased, or against the spouse or any child of the deceased (including a child adopted under the Adoption Acts, 1952 and 1964, and a person to whom the deceased was in loco parentis at the time of the offence), punishable by imprisonment for a maximum period of at least two years or by a more severe penalty, shall be precluded from taking any share in the estate as a legal right or from making an application under section 117.

(5) Any share which a person is precluded from taking under this section shall be distributed as if that person had died before the deceased.

Dispositions for purpose of disinheriting spouse or children.


121. —(1) This section applies to a disposition of property (other than a testamentary disposition or a disposition to a purchaser) under which the beneficial ownership of the property vests in possession in the donee within three years before the death of the person who made it or on his death or later.

(2) If the court is satisfied that a disposition to which this section applies was made for the purpose of defeating or substantially diminishing the share of the disponer's spouse, whether as a legal right or on intestacy, or the intestate share of any of his children, or of leaving any of his children insufficiently provided for, then, whether the disponer died testate or intestate, the court may order that the disposition shall, in whole or in part, be deemed, for the purposes of Parts VI and IX, to be a devise or bequest made by him by will and to form part of his estate, and to have had no other effect.

(3) To the extent to which the court so orders, the disposition shall be deemed never to have had effect as such and the donee of the property, or any person representing or deriving title under him, shall be a debtor of the estate for such amount as the court may direct accordingly.

(4) The court may make such further order in relation to the matter as may appear to the court to be just and equitable having regard to the provisions and the spirit of this Act and to all the circumstances.

(5) Subject to subsections (6) and (7), an order may be made under this section—

(a) in the interest of the spouse, on the application of the spouse or the personal representative of the deceased, made within one year from the first taking out of representation,

(b) in the interest of a child, on an application under section 117.

(6) In the case of a disposition made in favour of the spouse of the disponer, an order shall not be made under this section on an application by or on behalf of a child of the disponer who is also a child of the spouse.

(7) An order shall not be made under this section affecting a disposition made in favour of any child of the disponer, if—

(a) the spouse of the disponer was dead when the disposition was made, or

(b) the spouse was alive when the disposition was made but was a person who, if the disponer had then died, would have been precluded under any of the provisions of section 120 from taking a share in his estate, or

(c) the spouse was alive when the disposition was made and consented in writing to it.

(8) If the donee disposes of the property to a purchaser, this section shall cease to apply to the property and shall apply instead to the consideration given by the purchaser.

(9) Accrual by survivorship on the death of a joint tenant of property shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to be a vesting of the beneficial ownership of the entire property in the survivor.

(10) In this section “disposition” includes a donatio mortis causa.

Proceedings to be in chambers.

122. —All proceedings in relation to this Part shall be heard in chambers.