When should you consider making a Will?
You should consider making a Will during the course of one’s lifetime on foot of the following:-
- In the event of marriage.
- In the event of having children.
- Having purchased a property.
- On inheriting property or assets or money.
- Upon a relationship breakdown during the course of a separation and/or divorce.
- When retiring or suffering from an illness.
Why is making a Will a good idea?
- It allows you to plan how you wish your estate to devolve up on your death.
- It simplifies the administration of your estate for your immediate family members.
- It is a mechanism which allows you to have your wishes known and taken on board in the event of your death.
Who can make a Will?
A person who is over 18 years of age and is of sound disposing mind.
What should I think about when making a Will?
- If you are married your spouse has an automatic legal right share by way of an entitlement under your estate. If you have no children your spouse has an automatic entitlement to one half of your estate. If you are married and have children your spouse has an automatic entitlement to one third of your estate. It is important to understand that this legal right share will take priority over all other bequests that you may leave under your Will.
- Children – There is no automatic obligation upon a parent to leave any share of their estate to their children on their death. You are however under an obligation to provide for your children, as best you can during the course of your lifetime. If you have failed to do that then where a child has not been left any bequest or where they feel that that bequest is not in recognition of their relationship with you then they can make an application to challenge your Will under Section 117 of the Succession Act 1965 and can apply by way of Court Order for a provision to be made to them out of your estate.
- Inheritance Tax – On your death Capital Acquisitions Tax may become payable on the gift or inheritance left by you under the terms of your Will. This amount of tax varies depending upon the type of relationship between you and the person who is taking the gift or inheritance. It is important to give careful consideration to this when drawing up your Will and as and when Capital Acquisitions Tax legislation changes vary to review your Will accordingly.
What happens if I die without making a Will?
- Where a person leave no Will then the rules that govern the manner in which you estate will be administered after your death is provided for under the Succession Act 1965. Depending upon who survives you on your death your estate will be administered in strict compliance with the Succession Act:
- If you are survived by your spouse and children, your spouse is entitled to two thirds of your estate and your children amongst them equally are entitled to one third.
- If you are survived by your spouse only and have no children on the date of your death then your spouse is entitled to the entire of your estate. If you are survived only by your children and your spouse has already predeceased you, your children will take your estate equally between them.
- If you are single and survived by your parents and brother s and/or sisters then your parents will be entitled to y our share equally.
- If you are single, have no children, your parents have predeceased you and you are survived by your brothers and sisters only, then they will benefit from your estate equally.
- There are other provisions which will apply in the event that none of the above are relevant to you and will determine who inherits from your estate.