Farm Entitlements

What happens to farm entitlements on the death of a farmer

Do entitlements automatically attach to the land?

It is important to note that the entitlements are not attached to the land and do not automatically transfer with land but are governed by normal testamentary procedures. Where the entitlements are not specifically mentioned in the Will of a deceased person, they form part of the residue of an estate.

There is an Inheritance Enquiry Unit in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine whose function is to advise and assist in all matters relating to the transfer of agricultural schemes and to arrange for the proper disposal of any outstanding payments.

We can assist the legal representative to liaise with the Department to prepare to transfer agricultural schemes and, if necessary, the herd-number under the relevant scheme year. However, the following notes may be of some assistance.

What happens to the deceased farmer’s herd-number?

Herd-numbers normally transfer with land. If the person inheriting the land intends to carry on farming, he/she should apply to the relevant Regional Veterinary Office to have the herd-number transferred into his/her name.

An applicant for a herd-number must supply evidence of the land having been transferred from the relevant person. Any one of the following is acceptable as proof that the applicant has, or will, inherit the land.

  • Certified copy of Will and Probate
  • Deed of Transfer and Dealing Number issued by Land Registry for registration
  • Copy of Land Folio from the Land Registry

Note that the appointment of a herd-keeper (as distinct from herd-owner) can be arranged with the Regional Veterinary Office as soon as possible after the death of a herd-owner to safeguard the welfare of any animals on the property and to ensure that all measures relating to the Disease Eradication Scheme are implemented.

What is the Single Payment Scheme?

The Single Payment Scheme provides an annual payment to herd-owners who established entitlements based on their agricultural activity during the Reference Years of 2000-2002. Single Payment Scheme applications are submitted on a yearly basis and relate solely to the year of application. The closing date for receipt of applications for the 2014 scheme year is the 15th May 2014. 2014 will be the final year of the Single Payment Scheme and it will be replaced in 2015 by a new scheme.

Can Single Payment Entitlements be transferred and/or sold?

The Single Payment entitlements held by a deceased herd-owner may be transferred by way of inheritance. They may also be sold by the legal representatives of the deceased.

As mentioned above, Single Payment Entitlements are not attached to land and do not automatically transfer with land but are governed by normal testamentary procedures. Where the entitlements are not specifically mentioned in the Will of a deceased person, they form part of the residue of an estate.

To arrange for the transfer of these entitlements under the 2014 scheme year, a Transfer of Entitlements application must be submitted on or before 15th May 2014 to the Department.

A herd-owner applying to transfer entitlements by way of inheritance must produce the following documentation to confirm his/her status as rightful beneficiary;

  • Completed Transfer of Entitlements Application Form
  • Copy of Will and Copy of Probate
  • If Probate is not being extracted or may not be available for some time, an Indemnity Form may be accepted
  • Waivers if required