Wills, Probate & Tax Planning
Many people believe that only those with a lot of money or property need make a will however this could not be further from the truth. Some think that it is a complicated and expensive process. In fact, this is not so.
It is important that every person makes a will as it allows you to provide for the distribution of your property on death. Should you die without having made a will, then it is the law which decides who your property shall pass to.
A will can be a very simple document setting out your instructions on how your assets should be distributed when you die. It can take into account special bequests (gifts) to friends and charities, or to relatives who would not have any special claims under the law if there were no will.
We will be happy to explain and guide you through the following areas:
- Appointing executors
- Changing wills
- Appointing trustees & guardians
- Probate & Administration of Estates
- Setting up trusts
- The position of spouses & children
- Inheritance tax
Only a professionally prepared and properly executed will ensures that the wishes of the deceased can be carried out. It also reduces the possibility of family disagreements.
We understand that making a will can be a difficult task. We at Doyle & Company will talk you through the process and answer any questions you may have in confidence. If you need legal advice on any Wills, Probate or Tax Planning issues, please contact us here.
If you are handling the estate of someone who has died you would normally have to obtain probate. Probate frees up the assets of the person who has died and gives you the right to distribute them.
Probate is a legal process that allows a person to deal with a deceased person’s assets: property, money and all possessions owned by the deceased on the date of their death.
The authority to deal with a deceased person’s assets is given in the form of a document known generally as a grant of representation.
It is very important to make a will, for example, a co-habiting couple might assume that if one of them dies and does not leave a will, the surviving partner will automatically receive a share of their estate. However, under the current intestacy rules, that would not be the case.
Enduring Power of Attorney
Have you considered how you or your family would cope if you were to suffer from some accident or illness which deprived you of the mental capacity to look after your own affairs? Also with increasing life expectancy, there is a growing need to have an arrangement in the event of mental incapacity arising.
Lasting Powers of Attorney are legal documents in which you appoint someone you trust to look after your affairs on your behalf.
We recommend our clients make Lasting Powers of Attorney even if they are in good health. It is very much easier to set them up before they are needed. If it is left until someone can no longer look after their own affairs the process is far more complex. The Power of Attorney is not used until the person who has made it is unable to look after their own affairs.
There are two types of Power of Attorney – one for Health and Welfare, the other for Property and Financial affairs. Normally people make both.
Ward of Court
In Ireland, if a person is capable of managing his or her own affairs due to mental incapacity, a wardship application can be made to the Court to have that person made a Ward of Court.
The court will make a decision as to whether the person is capable of managing his or her own property for their benefit or for the benefit of their dependants.
The court will appoint a medical inspector who will report back to the court. If it is decided that the person cannot manage his or her own property because of mental incapacity, the person becomes a Ward of Court. A Committee will be appointed, accountable to the court, to take charge of the Ward’s property on the Ward’s behalf.
The Petition for Wardship, usually by a near relative must be verified by an affidavit of the petitioner and supported by the affidavits of two doctors. The affidavits must be based upon recent medical examinations.