International Inheritance Laws

Flag of Ireland

In Ireland basically anyone 18 years and over can make a will. The choice to hire an attorney to prepare a will is left up to the person making the will; if the will is simple it can be done without an attorney, however if it’s more difficult or complicated it is a good idea to hire an attorney. John Glynn & Company is a firm in Ireland that practices Wills and Probate Estates along with other services offered such as Property dealings, Landlord Tenant, Labor Laws, Matrimonial, Criminal Law, etc. Here is a link to this website; 

If a person dies intestate this means that the person die without having a will. If they have a will, and for one reason or another, the will has a defect it is said to be invalid. In those two cases the laws of intestacy of Ireland would come into play. Here is a look at the laws of intestacy under Irish laws (Succession Act 1965) according to an article taken from “Married with No Children:   In this situation, the entire estate would be granted to the spouse.

Married with Children: In this situation the spouse is generally entitled to two thirds of the estate while the children are entitled to the remaining one third divided equally.

Single No Children:  In this situation your parent/(s) will inherit the entire estate. If both parents are alive, they will share the estate equally.

Single with Children: In this situation, your estate will be divided equally between you children. If one of your children has died before you, their share will pass to their children equally.

Single No Children No Parents: In this situation your estate will pass to your brothers and sisters with the estate being divided equally. If any of your brother/sisters have died, their share will pass to their children, divided in equal proportion.

No Family Member: If you die without any immediate family members, the state will attempt to determine the “next of kin” and the estate will pass to them. This is usually you closest blood relative.”

The Irish law intestacy really does not differ that much from New York laws of intestacy; except where there is a surviving spouse and issue/children. In New York law the surviving spouse would get the first $50,000 and half of the remainders and the children split the rest. However, in Ireland the surviving spouse gets two thirds of the estate and the children split one third equally.

Information was taken from: John Glynn & Company. “Willis & Probate”  Web April 14, 2013;,  Articles – Learn About Irish Wills. April 14, 2013.


The Practice of Keening (watching over the corps), an Irish burial ritual this was done in the sixteenth century.

Copyright:National Gallery of IrelandTitle:The Aran Fisherman’s Drowned ChildArtist:Frederic William Burton (1816-1900 )

Copyright:National Gallery of Ireland

According to, “The Irish tradition of keening over the body at the burial is distinct from the wake – the practice of watching over the corpse – which took place the night before the burial. The “keen” itself is thought to have been constituted of stock poetic elements (the listing of the genealogy of the deceased, praise for the deceased, emphasis on the woeful condition of those left behind etc.) set to vocal lament. While generally carried out by one or several women, a chorus may have been intoned by all present. Physical movements involving rocking, kneeling or clapping accompanied the keening woman (“bean caoinadh”) who was often paid for her services.[1]

After consistent opposition from the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland (Synods opposed the practice in 1631, 1748 and 1800) that went so far as to recommend excommunication for offenders, the practice became extinct; the Church’s position is however unlikely to have been the sole cause. Although some recordings have been made and the practice has been documented up to recent times, it is generally considered to be extinct.”