If you are a farmer and own land, it is important that you consider the basic payment entitlements from the Department of Agricultural when making your Will.


What you may not know is that the basic payment entitlements do not attach to the land, they attach to you as farmer, although you must farm land in order to claim them.


It is always advisable that basic payment entitlements are referred to in the Will and you must not assume that the farm entitlements will pass with the land.


Problems arise when a farmer leaves land to a beneficiary, but the Will is silent as to who receives the basic payment entitlements from the Department of Agricultural.


What happens in those circumstances, is that the basic payment entitlements form part of what is known as the residue i.e. everything that is left over in the estate not already mentioned in the Will and the residue may be bequeathed to an individual who is not receiving land whatsoever. This can then cause difficulty and hardship for the person who is receiving the land.


Under the European Union (basic payment scheme inheritance) Regulations 2017, (SI639 of 2017) assistance can be found. It states “where a deceased person bequeaths land in a Will and (A) at the time of his or her death held in allocation of payment entitlements under regulation 1307/2013 and (B) they had no provision for those payment entitlements in his or her Will such entitlements (or share thereof) shall transfer with the eligible land unless there is a legal impediment preventing the transfer”


This statutory instrument was signed on the 21st of November, 2017, by the Minister for Agricultural Food and the Marine and may be a saving grace for a number of farmers who are due to inherit land where the Will neglected to refer to the entitlements.


If you have any queries regarding Wills or inheritances please do not hesitate to contact us at McElhinney & Associates, Solicitors, Drumboe Lodge, Stranorlar, Co. Donegal on 074 91 75989 or email at admin@mcelhinneyassociates.com




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**This information is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this publication. No liability is accepted by McElhinney & Associates for any action taken in reliance on the information contained herein. Any and all information is subject to change.