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WHY MAKE A WILL?
One of the main reasons and best advantage of making a will is that you have a clear legal document to direct what becomes of your property, assets and possessions on your death. A will allows you to provide for loved ones and family members on your death and allows you to appoint trustees and guardians of any minor children that you may have. A will allows you to choose who is to handle your legal affairs on your death. Making a will is also an opportunity to ensure that the absolute minimum amount of inheritance tax is paid by your beneficiaries on your death (Tax Planning).
WHO SHOULD MAKE A WILL?
We would recommend that all of your clients make a will, no matter how large or small your assets might be. In particular, one should seriously consider making a will in the following circumstances:
- If you get married (a subsequent marriage automatically revokes an existing will)
- If you have young children
- If your marital status changes for any reason (Divorce, Judicial Separation, Separation)
- If you own property or any other significant asset.
- If you are in a long term relationship but have not married.
LIVING WILL / ADVANCE CARE DIRECTIVE
An Advance Care Directive, sometimes known as a 'Living Will', is a statement about the type and extent of medical or surgical treatment you want in the future, on the assumption that you will not be competent or capable of communicating those wishes at the relevant time. There is currently no legislation on Advance Care Directives in Ireland.
June 2012 - the Advance Healthcare Decisions Bill 2012 is currently being debated in the Dail. "Bill entitled an Act to provide for the making of medical treatment decisions in advance by competent persons with the intention of those decisions subsequently providing for the withholding of care at a time when the person loses competence to make treatment decisions; to amend the Powers of Attorneys Act 1996 to allow for attorneys under that act to take healthcare treatment decisions; and to provide for connected matters."
PROBATE & ADMINSTRATION OF ESTATES
We have a Probate & Administration of Estates service where we provide advice on the legal process in which an estate is transferred or distributed after a person's death in accordance with the terms of the will or pursuant to the rules for distribution on intestacy set down by the Succession Act 1965.
We will advise you on the legal issues that relate to the administration, management and distribution of the estate and on any taxation issues that may arise.
Frequently it is the surviving spouse or a son or daughter who is the legal personal representative and is given the responsibility for dealing with the deceased person's affairs. It can therefore be an emotional time for you giving us instructions on the probate process. We at McCullagh Higgins & Co. understand this and will ensure that you are shown compassion, understanding and discretion in all of our dealings throughout the process.
Our services in this area also extend to:
If you require advice or representation under the above headings, please contact us.