Succession Bill, 1965: From the Seanad.

The Dáil went into Committee to consider amendments from the Seanad.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 1:

SECTION 2.

In lines 15 and 16, "the 1st day of July, 1966" deleted and "such day, not earlier than the 1st day of July, 1966, as the Minister by order appoints" substituted.

The purpose of this amendment is to enable the bringing into operation of the Succession Act to be synchronised with the commencement of the Registration of Title Act, 1964. In view of the fact that the machinery of land registration is tied up with the administration of the Succession Act I think this is a more desirable proposal. For that reason we suggest the arrangement proposed in the amendment, which will enable both Acts to be brought into operation on the same day.

So long as it contains ingredients for the further postponement of the Succession Act, we agree.

Question put and agreed to.

As amendment No. 5 is consequential on No. 2, perhaps they could be discussed together.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 2:

SECTION 3.

In subsection (1), page 6, lines 28 to 30 inclusive deleted.

These are drafting amendments the purpose of which is to remove the definition of "full valuable consideration" from the interpretation section, section 3.

It appears only once in the Bill?

That is correct.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 3:

In subsection (2), page 7, line 34, "alive" inserted before "thereafter".

This amendment makes it clear that subsection (2) of section 3 applies only to a child who is born alive. This point was made in the Seanad and I think it clarifies the section.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 4:

SECTION 6.

In subsection (2), page 9, paragraph (c) deleted and the following substituted:

"() any proceeding under section 56, 114, 116 or 120."

This is a drafting amendment the object of which is to make it clear that the Circuit Court will have jurisdiction in any proceeding under sections 56, 114, 116 or 120.

Amendment put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 5:

SECTION 23.

The following subsection added to the section:

"() In this section, `full valuable consideration' means such valuable consideration as amounts or approximates to the value of that for which it is given."

Question put and agreed to.

Amendments Nos. 9, 11, 12 and 27 are cognate to amendment No. 6 and may be discussed with it.

I think amendment No. 8 comes in also.

Yes, it does.

I have no objection to these amendments which are only clarifying the position but it would seem to be tidier to put in a subsection to contain all this, instead of tacking it on at the end of several sections. The subsection could apply to section so-and-so and so-and-so.

There may be something in what the Deputy says. I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 6:

SECTION 27.

The following subsection added to the section:

"() This section applies whether the deceased died before or after the commencement of this Act."

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 7:

SECTION 39.

In page 19, the following subsection added to the section:

"() Calendars and copies may be inspected in accordance with the directions of the President of the High Court."

This amendment has the effect of writing into the Bill the principle that the calendars of grants maintained in the Probate Office and the district probate registries are open to inspection by the public. The point was made in the Seanad.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 8:

SECTION 43.

In subsection 2, page 20, line 2, the following added: "This subsection applies whether the grant was made before or after the commencement of this Act."

Amendment No. 8 has been discussed with amendment No. 6.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 9:

SECTION 49.

The following subsection added to the section:

"() This section applies whether the deceased died before or after the commencement of this Act."

Amendment No. 9 has been discussed with amendment No. 6.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 10:

SECTION 51.

In subsection (2), paragraph (b) deleted and the following substituted:

"() A purchaser of any property to which this subsection applies, being the whole or any part of the estate of a deceased person, which has been conveyed by the personal representatives to any person shall be entitled to hold that property freed and discharged from the claims of creditors of the deceased and from any claims of the persons entitled to any share in the estate."

Perhaps it might be possible to discuss amendments Nos. 10, 25 and 26 together, as they are related.

Yes. The purpose of these amendments is to clarify the position of a purchaser who buys property from a person to whom it has been transferred by personal representatives. We want to make it quite clear —it was not entirely clear in the section—that such a purchaser takes the property freed and discharged from the claims of creditors and beneficiaries.

I may be wrong but I think the Minister is possibly over-simplifying. I think that this is a substantial alteration from the Bill as it was passed by the House. It is an improvement but as I read section 51 as it stood it seemed to me to be quite clear that the protection was only in the case of property transferred to the beneficiaries. This amendment does make it quite clear that purchasers will be protected against claims by creditors and against claims by any person entitled to a share in the estate. As I say, it is an improvement but it seems to me to be more than simple clarification.

Yes, it is an improvement. The previous section was not well drafted as it stood.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 11:

The following subsection added to the section:

"() This section applies whether the deceased died before or after the commencement of this Act."

Amendment No. 11 was discussed with amendment No. 6.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 12:

SECTION 53.

In page 24, the following subsection added to the section:

"() This section applies to assents and conveyances made after the commencement of this Act whether the deceased died before or after such commencement."

This amendment has been discussed with amendment No. 6.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 13:

SECTION 54.

The following subsection added to the section:

"() The Registration of Title Act, 1964, is hereby amended by the substitution of the following subsection for subsection (3) of section 61:

`(3) (a) An application for registration made by a person who claims to be by law entitled to the land of a deceased registered full owner, accompanied by an assent or transfer by the personal representative in the prescribed form, shall authorise the Registrar to register such person as full or limited owner of the land, as the case may be.

(b) On the determination of the estate or interest of an owner who is registered as limited owner of land pursuant to such an assent or transfer, the assent or transfer shall, on application being made in the prescribed manner, authorise the Registrar to register, as full or limited owner, as the case may be, the person in whose favour the assent or transfer was made, or the successor in title of that person, as may be appropriate.

(c) It shall not be the duty of the Registrar, nor shall he be entitled, to call for any information as to why any assent or transfer is or was made and he shall be bound to assume that the personal representative is or was acting in relation to the application, assent or transfer correctly and within his powers.' "

Question put and agreed to.

On the green sheet, there is amendment No. 1 which is consequential on Seanad amendment No. 13.

I move amendment No. 1:

In the Second Schedule, Part IV, page 48, in the third column, at the reference to the Registration of Title Act, 1964, to insert, above "Part IV", the following:

"Subsection (3) of section 61".

Amendment No. 13 substitutes a new subsection for subsection (3) of section 61 of the Registration of Title Act, 1964. The purpose of the new subsection is to make it clear that a will is no longer a document of title to registered lands and that the Registrar of Titles has no responsibility for examining the will of a deceased owner in order to satisfy himself that its terms are being properly interpreted and implemented. This was the whole purpose of the relevant subsection of the Act of 1964, but it has been represented to me that the subsection as it stood could be interpreted as applying only where a person is to be registered as owner in succession to a deceased registered full owner and that it does not extend to the case where a remainderman applies to be registered on the determination of the estate of a registered limited owner. It is really with a view to freeing the Registrar of Titles from the responsibility of looking into the will of a deceased person, by in effect declaring that a will is no longer a document of title.

Would it not have been better to bring in a short amendment of the Registration of Title Act? It gets a bit untidy when you have to look at the Succession Act to find out what is in the Registration of Title Act.

That was the thinking behind the point of view expressed in the Seanad where we had not even got this repeal set out in the Second Schedule. In the amendment that I am moving, consequential on the Seanad amendment, the repeal is being listed in that Schedule for indexing purposes.

Amendment agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 14:

SECTION 56.

Before subsection (4) the following subsection inserted:

"() It shall be the duty of the personal representatives to notify the surviving spouse in writing of the rights conferred by this section."

With 14, amendments Nos. 16 and 33 might be discussed.

The need for these amendments was put very strongly in the Seanad. The effect of them is that personal representatives will be under an obligation to notify a surviving spouse in writing of his or her rights under section 56 and section 114; and the surviving spouse will have a period of six months from receipt of the written notification or one year from the first taking out of representation, whichever is the later, within which to exercise the rights.

I do not know whether this was the Minister's recommendation to the Seanad——

The Seanad to me.

The Minister will recall that on Second Reading and Committee Stage here, we urged very strongly that a provision of this sort should be included.

That is right.

My views at the time were that the initial period should be six months and that there should be a provision for telescoping that in case of urgency where the personal representative gave notice and that there should likewise be discretion to the court to extend. I am glad that the Seanad have persuaded the Minister at least to accept in principle that notice should be given and that in the event of notice being given the time allowed will be reduced from the twelve months to six months. I do not think I can emphasise too strongly to the Minister the practical importance of this. I do not think it goes the whole way to meet the practical difficulties that will be involved in administration of estates when this Bill goes through but it certainly goes some way. The Minister will appreciate that the practical effect of this Bill on administration of estates may very well be that no estate can be distributed until the period of twelve months or in case notice is served six months, is up. The administration of the estate, willy nilly, must be hung up for that period because otherwise a claim from a dependant, one of the children or someone like that, may come along and the personal representative may find himself in a difficulty. It was to meet that situation in cases of urgency that I felt there should be machinery in the Bill in urgent cases to reduce the time.

I mentioned in the course of the discussions here that these are not theoretical cases. They are cases of practical importance that any practising lawyer meets in the course of his business. I think it is a good thing that at least this advance has been made but my own view is that it does not go far enough. However, for what it is worth, I am certainly glad it is there.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 15:

In subsection (4), paragraph (a) deleted and the following substituted:

"() after the expiration of six months from the receipt by the surviving spouse of such notification or one year from the first taking out of representation of the deceased's estate, whichever is the later, or".

Amendment No. 15 has been discussed with amendment No. 14.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 16:

In subsection (4) (b), lines 28 and 29, "consents to" deleted and "authorises" substituted.

This is a drafting amendment, substituting "authorises" for "consents to".

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 17:

In subsection (5), line 30, "applies" deleted and "and paragraph (d) of subsection () apply" substituted.

Perhaps the House might discuss amendment No. 22 with amendment No. 17.

Yes. This is a rather important amendment which was suggested in the Seanad on Second Stage by Senator Miss Davidson. In the course of the debate in the Seanad a very practical point of view was put as to the widow remaining on in the family home who might find herself in the position that the value of the house and domestic chattels might be in excess of her legal right share. She could find herself being threatened with eviction by a beneficiary who was entitled to the balance of the estate. The effect of the two amendments here is that, where the share of the spouse would not be sufficient to enable appropriation of the house and chattels to be required in the ordinary way, an application could be made to the court, which would have discretion in chambers to look into the situation and provide that the widow would take the property either subject to the payment of a specified sum or without any payment whatever.

The basis of the original section in the Bill was that the spouse should have the right to take the house and this ensures, in the circumstances, as was contemplated in the Seanad, that this will still happen.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 18:

In subsection (6), line 42, "right" deleted and "rights" substituted.

This is just a drafting amendment making a word plural instead of singular.

Question put and agreed to.

We can discuss amendments Nos. 19 and 20 together as they are cognate.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 19:

In subsection (7) (a), lines 44 and 45, "During the period mentioned in paragraph (a) of subsection (4)" deleted and "So long as a right conferred by this section continues to be exercisable" substituted.

These are just drafting amendments to avoid ambiguity. They do not make any changes in the substance of the subsection.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 20:

In subsection (7) (a), line 48, "that subsection" deleted and "subsection (4)" substituted.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 21:

In subsection (7) (a), line 49, "or household chattels" inserted before "except".

The words "or household chattels" were inadvertently omitted. It is really a correction of an omission in the drafting.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 22:

Subsection (8) deleted and the following subsections substituted:

"() The rights conferred by this section on a surviving spouse include a right to require appropriation partly in satisfaction of a share in the deceased's estate and partly in return for a payment of money by the surviving spouse on the spouse's own behalf and also on behalf of any infant for whom the spouse is a trustee under section 57 or otherwise.

() (a) In addition to the rights to require appropriation conferred by this section, the surviving spouse may, so long as a right conferred by this section continues to be exercisable, apply to the court for appropriation on the spouse's own behalf and also on behalf of any infant for whom the spouse is a trustee under section 57 or otherwise.

(b) On any such application, the court may, if of opinion that, in the special circumstances of the case, hardship would otherwise be caused to the surviving spouse or to the surviving spouse and any such infant, order that appropriation to the spouse shall be made without the payment of money provided for in subsection ()* or subject to the payment of such amount as the court considers reasonable.

(c) The court may make such further order in relation to the administration of the deceased's estate as may appear to the court to be just and equitable having regard to the provisions of this Act and to all the circumstances.

(d) The court shall not make an order under this subsection in relation to a dwelling in any of the cases mentioned in subsection (5), unless it is satisfied that the order would be unlikely to diminish the value of the assets of the deceased, other than the dwelling, or to make it more difficult to dispose of them in due course of administration.

() All proceedings in relation to this section shall be heard in chambers."

(*This subsection is the immediately preceding subsection of this amendment.)

Question put and agreed to.

Amendment No. 34 might be taken with amendment No. 23 as they are both cognate.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 23:

Subsection (9), page 27, deleted and the following substituted:

"() Where the surviving spouse is a person of unsound mind, a requirement or consent under this section may, if there is a committee of the spouse's estate, be made or given on behalf of the spouse by the committee by leave of the court which has appointed the committee or, if there is no committee, be given or made by the High Court or, in a case within the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court, by that Court."

These amendments make it clear that, where a surviving spouse of unsound mind is a ward of court, the right of appropriation under section 56 and the right of election under section 114 will be exercisable by the committee of the spouse's estate by leave of the court which has appointed the committee. Where the spouse is not a ward of court and there is no committee, the rights will be exercisable on behalf of the spouse by the High Court or, in a case within its jurisdiction, by the Circuit Court. The Seanad was anxious that it should be spelled out that the court would have to give permission in these cases.

This is necessary from a practical point of view.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 24:

SECTION 58.

The following subsection added to the section:

"() The powers conferred by subsection (5) may also be exercised by the surviving spouse as trustee of any property of an infant appropriated in accordance with section 56."

This amendment provides that the powers conferred on a trustee by subsection (5) of section 58 shall be exercisable by a surviving spouse as trustee of a dwelling appropriated in accordance with section 56 in satisfaction of the share of an infant. The Seanad felt that it was desirable that the spouse, in such a case, should have these powers, which include the power to apply the capital for the advancement or benefit of the infant in such manner as the spouse may think fit.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 25:

Before section 59 the following new section inserted:

"() Property which has been conveyed by personal representatives to any person (other than a purchaser) shall, so long as it remains vested in that person, or in any person claiming under him (not being a purchaser), continue to be liable to answer the debts of the deceased and any share in the estate to the extent to which it was liable when vested in the personal representatives.

() In the event of a sale or mortgage of the property by a person (not being a purchaser) to whom it was conveyed by the personal representatives, or by any person claiming under him (not being a purchaser), the seller or mortgagor shall continue to be personally liable for such debts and for any share in the estate to the extent to which the property was liable when vested in the personal representatives.

() This section applies whether the deceased died before or after the commencement of this Act."

Question put and agreed to.

Amendment No. 26 is consequential on amendment No. 25.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 26:

SECTION 59.

Section deleted.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 27:

SECTION 60.

In page 29, the following subsection added to the section:

"() This section applies whether the deceased died before or after the commencement of this Act."

Question put and agreed to.

Perhaps amendment No. 40 might be taken with amendment No. 28, as they are consequential amendments.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 28:

Before section 65, in Part V, the following new section inserted:

(1) Where administration of an estate is granted for the use or benefit of the State (whether to the Chief State Solicitor, the Solicitor for the Attorney General or any other person), any legal proceedings by or against the administrator for the recovery of the estate or any share thereof shall be of the same character and be instituted and carried on in the same manner, and be subject to the same rules of law and equity in all respects, as if the grant had been made to the administrator as a person beneficially entitled to a share of the estate.

(2) Proceedings on behalf of or against the State in respect of the estate of a deceased person or any share thereof or any claim thereon shall not be instituted except subject to the same rules of law and equity in and subject to which proceedings for the like purposes might be instituted by or against a private individual.

(3) Where the Chief State Solicitor for the time being is administrator of an estate for the use or benefit of the State, he shall cease to be administrator on ceasing to hold office and his successor in office shall become administrator in his place without further grant.

The first two subsections of this amendment are largely a re-enactment of sections 2 and 3 of the Intestates Estates Act, 1884. The new provision will, however, be applicable to all property, whereas the existing sections of the 1884 Act apply only to personal property. The repeal of the Act of 1884 is provided for in amendment No. 40.

The third subsection is designed to deal with the situation where a grant of representation is issued to the Chief State Solicitor on behalf of the State and subsequently the person holding that office ceases to do so, whether as a result of retirement, death or otherwise. This subsection provides that in such a case the person who succeeds to the office will become administrator in his predecessor's place without having to obtain a fresh grant.

The whole point to make it clear that the grant is issued to the personex officio rather than to an individual.

That is precisely the point.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 29:

The following subsections added to the section:

"() The Minister for Finance may, if he thinks proper to do so, waive, in whole or in part and in favour of such person and upon such terms (whether including or not including the payment of money) as he thinks proper having regard to all the circumstances of the case, the right of the State under this section.

() Section 32 of the State Property Act, 1954, (which provides for the disclaimer of certain land devolving on the State by way of escheat or asbona vacantia) shall extend to the grantee's interest under a fee farm grant and the lessee's interest under a lease, where the State has a right to such interest as ultimate intestate successor.”

The purpose of this amendment is two fold. The first of the two subsections will empower the Minister for Finance, if he thinks proper to do so, to waive in whole or in part, and upon such terms as he thinks proper, the right of the State to take property as ultimate intestate successor. Under section 31 of the State Property Act, 1954, the Minister for Finance already has this power of waiver in relation to property which devolves upon the State by way of escheat or asbona vacantia. The right or waiver would, for example, be exercised in cases where the intestate left persons who were dependent on him but, not being next-of-kin, were not entitled to succeed to this estate under the provisions of this Part of the Bill.

The second of the two subsections provides that section 32 of the State Property Act, 1954, shall apply in relation to property to which the State has a right as ultimate intestate successor. That section enables the Minister for Finance to disclaim the State's right to a fee farm interest or leasehold interest to which it has become entitled by way of escheat or asbona vacantia, respectively. We are extending it also to the State's new right as ultimate intestate successor which we have here in this section. There are many practical cases where the State would want to disclaim its right to property—to avoid liability for payment of rents and so on—and I think it is important that they should have this right.

I would much prefer to look on this in the way of the State giving something rather than the State avoiding something which would be a burden.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 30:

In line 1, "of the intention" deleted and "to show the intention" substituted.

This is a drafting amendment which clarifies the meaning of the section. The Seanad preferred the wording now suggested—"to show the intention"— rather than what was there. I think the meaning is clearer now.

Question put and agreed to.

Amendments Nos. 32 and 35 are consequential on amendment 31 and may be discussed with it.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 31:

Before section 113 the following new section inserted: "(1) Where property is devised or bequeathed in a will to a spouse and the devise or bequest is expressed in the will to be in addition to the share as a legal right of the spouse, the testator shall be deemed to have made by the will a gift to the spouse consisting of— (a) a sum equal to the value of the share as a legal right of the spouse, and

(b) the property so devised or bequeathed.

(2) In any other case, a devise or bequest in a will to a spouse shall be deemed to have been intended by the testator to be in satisfaction of the share as a legal right of the spouse."

These amendments provide for the redrafting of section 113 and subsection (5) of section 114 so as to clarify the meaning of the two sections. The House will remember that on Committee Stage there was some difficulty in deciding precisely what the two provisions meant. We have gone to some considerable trouble in redrafting these sections. There was some disagreement with the principle involved whereby the testator must spell out the legacy in addition to the legal right. The wording is better now and the intention is clearer.

I think I told the Minister on Committee Stage that I had never any real doubt as to what section 113 means. I agree the new wording proposed in the Seanad amendment is clearer but I still think it is a bad section. It is a bad section for several reasons, the principal one being that the practical fact of it is, that it will be a trap for the testator. It will be a trap to the testator who wants to leave a bequest to his wife over and above what she would be entitled to as her legal share. That intention will be defeated unless he expresses it positively in the will. The difficulty, as the Minister must be well aware, is that there are what you might regard as two types of wills: a will made by a solicitor and a will made without the assistance of a solicitor. Let us take the second class first. It is most unlikely that the person who makes a will without any legal advice —he is perfectly free to do so—will carry in his head the whole 130 sections of the Succession Bill and that he will be aware of the provisions of section 113 of it. He will not be aware if he wants to give his widow something over and above her share, that if he does not put it in the will, he must express that intention.

We have departed from the original position taken up by the Government under the original Succession Bill to a very great extent. One of the major changes under this legislation now is that it will be open to a testator to leave everything to his wife. Originally, that was not going to be allowed. It seems to me, having regard to that fact, if a testator now wants to give his widow something more than what she would be entitled to as a legal share, if he does not put that in his will, and is silent about it, simply does it without expressing that it is in addition to the legal share, my view is that it should be understood that it is his intention and it is one which should be operative, when we have gone to the length as we have to leave everything to the wife.

We now come to the second class where wills are made by solicitors. I agree, by and large, that most solicitors will be familiar with this section and that they will advise their clients in drafting their wills that they must express themselves positively. You will have the occasional will which is made in a hurry, the deathbed will, where the solicitor has not the opportunity of consulting the provisions of this Bill and where a slip-up will be made. I still feel very strongly that it would have been far wiser for the Minister to swing this the other way, and to say that in the event of the testator making a bequest to his wife over and above what she would be entitled to as a legal share, unless a contrary intention is expressed, she should get both.

Her legal right is still there and she can opt for that.

She is put on election now under this section and I do not think she should be. I think the testator's intention should be carried out. It is far clearer than it was previously.

Question put and agreed to.

Amendment No. 32 was discussed with amendment No. 31.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 32:

SECTION 113.

Section deleted.

Question put and agreed to.

Amendment No. 33 was discussed with amendments Nos. 14 and 15.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 33:

SECTION 114

Subsection (4), page 39, deleted and the following substituted:

"() It shall be the duty of the personal representatives to notify the spouse in writing of the right of election conferred by this section. The right shall not be exercisable after the expiration of six months from the receipt by the spouse of such notification or one year from the first taking out of representation of the deceased's estate, whichever is the later."

Question put and agreed to.

Amendment No. 34 was discussed with amendment No. 33.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 34:

Before subsection (5) a new subsection inserted as follows:

"() Where the surviving spouse is a person of unsound mind, the right of election conferred by this section may, if there is a committee of the spouse's estate, be exercised on behalf of the spouse by the committee by leave of the court which has appointed the committee or, if there is no committee, be exercised by the High Court or, in a case within the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court, by that Court."

Question put and agreed to.

Amendment No. 35 was discussed with amendment No. 31.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 35:

Subsection (5), page 39, deleted and the following subsection substituted:

"() In this section, but only in its application to a case to which subsection (1) of section 113 applies, `devise or bequest' means a gift deemed under that subsection to have been made by the will of the testator."

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 36:

SECTION 117.

Subsection (1) deleted.

This point was mentioned in the Seanad. The subsection is no longer relevant in view of the fact that legacy and succession duty is abolished in the case of the spouse and lineal descendants.

Question put and agreed to.

Amendments Nos. 2, 3 and 4 on the green sheet and amendments Nos. 37 and 38 form a composite proposal.

Seanad amendment No. 37:

SECTION 119.

Subsection (1) deleted and the following subsection substituted:

"() A same person who has been guilty of the murder or manslaughter of another shall be precluded from taking any share in the estate of that other."

I move amendment No. 2, an amendment to Seanad amendment No. 37:

To delete all words after "murder" and substitute the following:

"attempted murder or manslaughter of another shall be precluded from taking any share in the estate of that other, except a share arising under a will made after the act constituting the offence, and shall not be entitled to make an application under section 116."

These matters came up for discussion on Committee Stage here. I relented in the Seanad, though I did not relent here.

They were discussed on Report Stage, I think, and my view which is now enshrined in this amendment was — perhaps it would be unfair to say derided—not accepted, but at least it is now accepted.

I was convinced on the point of attempted murder because a person might wish to forgive another person who attempted to murder him, and as the section stood, he was debarred from giving that person a bequest. In the interests of encouraging forgiveness I am amending the subsection so as to validate a bequest made after the commission of the offence.

The amendment to amendment No. 38 is consequential. The amendments deal with the question of the dangerous driving type of case. The case was mentioned of a husband and wife driving together and one is killed. As the section stood, in the event of an intestacy, the surviving spouse would be debarred from securing an intestate share. I considered that this was going a bit too far, so now in the event of such a thing happening, the share will pass on.

As the Minister pointed out, amendment No. 37 is really on all fours with the amendment which I moved on Committee Stage. I am glad that on re-considering the matter, the Minister has decided to accept it.

Amendment agreed to.
Seanad amendment No. 37, as amended, agreed to.
Seanad amendment No. 38:
In subsection (4), lines 35 and 36, "or on intestacy" deleted.

I move amendment No. 3, an amendment to Seanad amendment No. 38:

To add "and `or from making an application under section 116' substituted".

Amendment agreed to.
Seanad amendment No. 38, as amended, agreed to.

I move amendment No. 4, an amendment consequential on the amended Seanad amendments Nos. 37 and 38:

In section 119, to delete subsection (6), page 40, lines 40 to 42.

Amendment agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 39:

SECTION 120.

In subsection (7) (c), line 46, "gave her consent" deleted and "consented" substituted.

This is simply a drafting amendment and nothing else.

Question put and agreed to.

Amendment No. 40 has been discussed with amendment No. 28.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 40:

SECOND SCHEDULE.

In page 47, after the reference to the Settled Land Act, 1884, the following inserted:

“c. 71.

Intestates Estates Act, 1884.

The Whole Act.”

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 41:

In page 48, in the third column, at the reference to the Statute of Limitations, 1957, "sections 45 and 46" deleted and the following substituted:

"In section 21, `co-parceners". Sections 22, 45 and 46."

This provides for some minor repeals in the Statute of Limitations, 1957. That is all that is involved.

Question put and agreed to.
Amendments reported and agreed to.

The concurrence of the Seanad in the amendments made will be sought.