A solicitor can go ahead with administering the estate of a deceased man for the benefit of his estranged wife, who is aged in her nineties and has dementia, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

While the husband left just €1,000 in his will to his estranged wife – a ward of court – she is nonetheless legally entitled to one-third of his estate, Mr Justice Michael Peart noted.

Given the woman’s age and condition, it is obvious the task of her obtaining her legal right share during her lifetime “is of the utmost and pressing urgency”, she has been without it for eight years now “and time is running out”.

On behalf of the three-judge court, he dismissed an appeal by the woman’s son against a High Court order appointing a solicitor to extract a grant to the estate pending the determination of Circuit Court proceedings.

Those proceedings seek to have the will of the deceased proven and involve claims by the son that certain lands are wrongly included in his late father’s estate.

The son, one of the defendants in the Circuit Court case, claims he owns those lands and also claims his mother had disclaimed any interest in them.

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Source: Irish Examiner