Leaving house to just one child

Macbeth

Registered User
Messages
31
Hello,
If my only asset is the family home and my four adult children are still living there, can I leave the property to just one of them? Would the others have the right to continue living there or could they even contest the will?
Thanks.
 

Palerider

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,372
I have come across this before, in that case the solicitor recommended that each adult child be named in the will and a monetary amount left to each of them, that showed the person had considered them when indicating their wishes which makes it difficult to challenge.

If left to one sibling then the property belongs to that adult child's alone, they will have to deal with the fallout from the others, not an easy path to navigate.
 

mf1

Frequent Poster
Messages
4,164
Plus one to Palerider's post.

Macbeth, you (virtually) have complete freedom to do whatever you want- you can leave the house to whomsoever you wish.

BUT

If there is no good reason to exclude your other children and, if they would feel aggrieved by your proposed action, they could , potentially, challenge the will on the grounds that you failed to make adequate provision for them.

If you have very good reason for your proposed action, you should make sure that that reason is identified in your instructions to your solicitor when making the will.

Unless there is a very good reason for doing what you propose, I would advise against it- it has the potential to cause untold grief in the future.

mf
 

Feemar5

Frequent Poster
Messages
227
I agree with mf1 - leaving all your estate to one person will lead to him/her being isolated from the rest of the family through no fault of his/her own. If you have cash you could give him/her some of it now and it won't be part of the estate. If all are still living at home I would suggest that you put a wish into your will that the house be sold and as percentage of the estate given to each child - you can give an equal percentage or give different ones different amounts and in that way they won't all gang up on one family member.
 

AlbacoreA

Frequent Poster
Messages
3,221
... If all are still living at home I would suggest that you put a wish into your will that the house be sold and as percentage of the estate given to each child - you can give an equal percentage...
I think this is the most sensible thing to do. Unless someone specifically wants the house...
 

DirectDevil

Frequent Poster
Messages
582
+1 previous views above.

A will of the type queried is open to attack under the Succession Act 1965 Section 117.
S.117 imposes on the person making the will a moral duty to make proper provision for the child [children] in accordance with his means........
Link to S.117 http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/1965/act/27/section/117/enacted/en/html#sec117

It does not follow that there has to be an equal inheritance left to all.
Circumstances of all must be considered.
3 of the children may be well off financially but number 4 may be relatively poor. A straight equal split might be unfair.

It can happen that there may be a serious and valid reason not to leave a child an inheritance. e.g. the child is a raving cocaine addict who will sniff his entire inheritance up his nose. In that case it might be possible to leave that child an inheritance through a device like a trust whereby someone effectively controls and protects the beneficiaries inheritance (for the benefit of that beneficiary).

Leaving a house to one child can rankle bitterly. One idea to quell that would be to leave the house to the preferred one but impose on that bequest a liability to pay a specified sum to each of the other children. I have seen it done and there was no ill will in consequence. That said, circumstances of all the children need to be taken in to account before drafting the exact terms.

Generally, changing life circumstances can cause unintended consequences if wills are not updated periodically or in the light of specific events.

Finally, if a testator really dislikes the daughter/son in law I have seen wills whereby the bequest is only valid if the intended beneficiary is actually alive at the time of the testator's death ;).
 

Bronte

Frequent Poster
Messages
13,305
Anybody find it strange that four adult children are living at home.

The OP can leave the house to the one child, with the right of the others to reside there, and if they leave they lose the right to reside there.

The worst reason to leave the house to one child is if they are the favourite. The best reason is that the others are taken care of/doing well and this child needs a home for various reasons.
 

galwaypat

Frequent Poster
Messages
216
It would be fine decent thing to sell it and spend the cash yourself drink it or gamble it away but to leave it to just 1 of your kids and the rest with nothing is down right bad and a guaranteed way to leave them feuding and fighting and miserable for the rest of there lives.
 

DirectDevil

Frequent Poster
Messages
582
Two brief additional points.

1. You should consult a solicitor to advise you on and to execute the will.
2. There is no obligation to reveal the contents of the will to anyone who is or is not a beneficiary :)
 

Vanessa

Frequent Poster
Messages
194
It would be fine decent thing to sell it and spend the cash yourself drink it or gamble it away but to leave it to just 1 of your kids and the rest with nothing is down right bad and a guaranteed way to leave them feuding and fighting and miserable for the rest of there lives.
I agree completely. I never understand why parents do this. Leaving all to the eldest, leaving it to the waster in the family because he has nothing of his own etc. Either blow it all yourself or treat your children equally in your will
 

DirectDevil

Frequent Poster
Messages
582
I agree completely. I never understand why parents do this. Leaving all to the eldest, leaving it to the waster in the family because he has nothing of his own etc. Either blow it all yourself or treat your children equally in your will
I remember that bumper sticker - " I am spending my childrens' inheritance" :)
 

Clamball

Frequent Poster
Messages
75
The succession act to look after children is for when they are children (under 18) and it does not apply to adult children? It is a very interesting point and one that can create a lot of dilemmas. Once my children are all adults I do not need to treat them equally in my will? And when my parents pass away should I expect to get 20% of their estate or should I expect my younger sister to get it all as she farms and lives with them?
 

DirectDevil

Frequent Poster
Messages
582
The succession act to look after children is for when they are children (under 18) and it does not apply to adult children? It is a very interesting point and one that can create a lot of dilemmas. Once my children are all adults I do not need to treat them equally in my will? And when my parents pass away should I expect to get 20% of their estate or should I expect my younger sister to get it all as she farms and lives with them?
The Succession Act 1965 is the principal act on this subject.

I have never seen the act distinguish children from infants in terms of inheritance rights.
I suspect that you are thinking of infants as distinct from children.
In law, an infant is anyone who has not reached the age of majority which is 18.

As far as the 1965 act is concerned your child is always your child.
Therefore, your child can still be a beneficiary even when they have turned 18 - you will never be rid of them :rolleyes:
S.117 of the act covers the issue of making provision for children.
IMHO the provisions of S.117 are still capable of applying to an adult child.
S.117 is silent on the issue of whether the child is an adult or an infant.

When your parents pass away your expectations will be governed by the provisions of S. 117 which could range from zero to 20% depending on all pertinent facts relating to your parents circumstances and those of all the children.

Link to S.117
 
Top