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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10974
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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My brother, a single man of almost seventy, died

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My brother, a single man of almost seventy, died recently, without leaving a will. He had a son years ago. My question is, does the son (who was adopted), have the right to his estate?
1. I regret to say that the adopted child is entitled to inherit the estate of his biological father. This is because the term "issue" or children is not defined in the Irish 1965 Succession Act. Accordingly, the term is wide enough to encompass a child who was born the child of the deceased but who subsequently got adopted. There is no exclusion of adopted children from succession. So they can inherit.
2. I know that the usual approach is that adopted children are no longer treated as the child of the former biological parent once an adoption order is made. However, this does not of itself prevent a biological child from inheriting from their biological parent. This is in no way excluded by the Irish 1965 Succession Act.
3. So, in this instance, the biological child of your brother, who was adopted, can inherit from the estate of his father. As he is the only surviving child, he will inherit all of the estate.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are we, his siblings, responsible for the expenses of the funeral,
the solicitor and the insurance on the vacant house, even though, even though the estate
is inherited by his son?
5. No, the expenses of the funeral, solicitor, insurance all fall to be paid by the estate of your late brother. This will come out of the estate before his son inherits. This is because these are expenses incurred by the estate after the date of death. So, whoever takes out letters of administration to the estate will pay these expenses before the remainder devolves to his son.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
6. You are welcome.