Wills & Probate
If you wish to decide who inherits your estate after your death then you should make a Will. It is neither difficult nor expensive and protects your assets and your family interests, as well as helping avoid any dispute, which is not what you will want to have happen. Make it as straight forward as you can and ensure your own wishes are taken in to consideration. If you do not make a Will the Succession Act determines that your estate will be divided as follows:-
|Relative Surviving||Distribution of Estate|
|Spouse & Children||2/3rds to Spouse and 1/3rd equally among the children|
|Spouse & No Children||Spouse inherits everything|
|Children & No Spouse||Children inherit equally and children of a predeceased child take their parent’s share|
|Father & Mother||Each parent takes one half|
|Brothers & Sisters||All take equally and children of predeceased brother or sister take their parent’s share|
|Nephews, Nieces & Grandparent||Nephews and nieces take all equally.|
Inheritance Tax (Capital Acquisitions Tax) should be considered when making your Will. Inheritances taken by spouses are exempt but inheritances taken by other relations may give rise to a tax liability.
Executors should be appointed to carry into effect the terms of your Will. You need to consider whether you should appoint trustees, such as if your children are under 18 or one of the beneficiaries suffers from a disability. A discretionary trust may be appropriate in those circumstances. You may also need to consider appointing guardians for children under 18. If you are separated, divorced or unmarried or have a second family then further consideration needs to be given to the terms of your Will.
ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATES
The Executor needs to secure all of the assets in the estate. The following is a list of the information that may be required:-
- Original Death Certificate.
- Original Will.
- Names, addresses, occupation and PPS numbers for Deceased and Executor/Personal Representative.
- Names, addresses and PPS numbers for all beneficiaries/next-of-kin.
- Valuations for all properties.
- Title Deeds for all properties (whether in the sole or joint names of the Deceased).
- Details of all Bank Accounts, Credit Union Accounts, Post Office Accounts or other investments in the sole or joint names of the Deceased.
- Details of all shareholdings.
- Details of all insurance policies.
- Copy invoice or receipt for funeral expenses.
- Details of all debts or liabilities of the Deceased.
- Confirmation as to whether the Deceased was in receipt of any Social Welfare payment and if so whether contributory or non-contributory together with Social Welfare/Pension number.
- Date of Birth of the Deceased.
- Details of any pension policy or other pension entitlements of the Deceased.
- Name and address of any accountant instructed by the Deceased.