Just When You Think You Have It Sorted - Ademption and What It Might Do To You

You have made your Will and neatly left different parts of your property to different people. Exactly what the solicitor ordered. So that's it, you can forget about it now? Unfortunately not.

 

As there is a constant risk of change in circumstances (either yours or your beneficiaries) or taxation changes, once the Will is made you should review it regularly.

This is particularly the case where you have left bequests of specific property. In such instances you can run up against the concept of Ademption with its potentially devastating effects.

Ademption arises when property specified in a Will cannot be given to the beneficiary because it has ceased to exist, changed in nature or no longer belonged to the deceased at the time of death.

Take, for instance, where the deceased provides in his or her Will:

“I GIVE DEVISE AND BEQUEATH my house at 1 Main Street to ....”

Even if the house at 1 Main Street has been replaced by another house and the deceased went to live there the bequest has become extinct. The “replacement” house falls into the general estate as opposed to going to a specific person.

An even starker example is where money in a specific bank account is bequeathed and the account is changed. The nature of the change can be as simple as changing account number within the same bank or branch.

You need to be very conscious that if you dispose of or change the nature of property specifically bequeathed your Will intentions could be defeated. If you want to ensure your wishes are fully implemented you need to review and update your Will regularly.

If you would like more information or have any query please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone Natasha Dunne at 01 6773434.

 
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