We are aware that these matters are sensitive and often distressing for our clients, and we make every effort to respond in a courteous and efficient way to their requirements.
We have a fixed fee for a straightforward, single persons will of €125.00 + VAT, and simple wills for a married couple of €200 + VAT.
When drawing up your will, we can advise you whether Capital Acquisitions Tax, or Inheritance Tax will affect your estate, and advise of how it can be minimised.
If you die without leaving a valid will, your estate is will be divided as follows:
- Married , no children – Your spouse is entitled to your entire estate;
- Married with children – Your spouse is entitled to two thirds and one third goes to your children;
- Single with children – Your children are entitled to your entire estate;
- Single , no children – your estate goes to your parents, and in the event that your parents are deceased, to your brothers and sisters.
There are certain succession rules which must be taken into account when making a will :
Under Irish Law your spouse has a legal right to a minimum share of half your estate where there are no children, and otherwise one-third. Your children do not have any minimum entitlement but are enabled to apply to court if you fail in your moral duty to make proper provision for them in accordance with your means, taking into account their position in life. Your spouse also has a right to require that the family home and household contents be included in his/her share (and the share of minor children).
A Guardian is the person you select to take over your role as parent in rearing your children under 18 years. Trustees may be appointed to manage the assets in your estate; it is not uncommon for an Executor also to be named as a Trustee.
Provision for Children
You may wish your estate to be divided equally between your children on reaching a specified age, usually 18 or 21.
Seperated or Divorced?
Separation of itself does not extinguish succession rights; however, such rights may be extinguished or renounced under a separation agreement or judicial separation, or can be precluded by court order on divorce.
If not married to you, your “partner” will have no succession rights and will therefore be limited to whatever rights he/she may establish in contract (e.g. where he/she has financially contributed to the purchase of a property, or where he/she is entitled under your Will).
Property held jointly (rather than in separate shares) passes to the survivor where there is clear evidence that this is intended. However, there are legal rules or presumptions which may prevent the property from so passing.
With bank accounts, it is not unusual to open a joint account for convenience (e.g. where the original holder is elderly and immobile) or for a specific purpose (e.g. to pay bills). It is therefore important when opening such accounts to specify in writing whether the proceeds are intended to pass to the survivor beneficially, or to take specific steps to ensure that your intention is clear as to what is to happen to the account on your death.
Capital Acquisitions Tax
Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) is a tax on gifts and inheritances.
Tax Free Threshold
A gift or inheritance from a husband or wife is not liable to inheritance tax. This will only apply to a legal spouse and to divorced persons in certain circumstances. A “partner” is treated as a stranger for tax purposes.
If you leave property by Will to someone other than a spouse then the first portion, known as the tax free threshold, is taken free of tax. The amount of the tax free threshold depends on your relationship to the beneficiary.
For more details, see www.revenue.ie
It is important to plan the passing of your assets so as to minimise the tax that your beneficiaries need to pay.
We provide an expert, personal service in the following areas of law:
Accident Claims & Personal Injury Litigation*, Conveyancing, Debt Collection, Wills & Probate and Family Law.