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If a person dies without having made a Will, or if the Will is invalid for whatever reason, that person is said to have died ‘intestate’. If there is a valid Will, but part of it is invalid then that part of the Will is dealt with as if there was an intestacy. If that happens, your money and property is distributed in accordance with the rules set out in the Succession Act, 1965.

The rules for division of property on intestacy are as follows:

  • If the deceased is survived by:
    • spouse/civil partner but no children
      • the spouse/civil partner gets entire estate
    • spouse/civil partner and children
      • the spouse/civil partner gets two-thirds, one-third is divided equally between children (if a child has already died his/her children take a share)
    • parents, no spouse/civil partner or children
      • estate is divided equally, or entirely to one parent if only one survives
    • children, no spouse/civil partner
      • the estate is divided equally between children (as above)
    • brothers and sisters only
      • the estate is shared equally, or if deceased, the share to go to the children of a deceased brother or sister
    • nieces and nephews only
      • the estate is divided equally between those surviving
    • other relatives
      • estate is divided equally between nearest equal relationship
    • no relatives
      • estate goes to the state.

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