Wills, Probate and Succession Planning

Wills

By making a Will you can choose who you wish to inherit your assets rather than this decision being made by the law.

When a person dies without making a Will the rules of intestacy apply governing who is entitled to receive a person’s property should they die. Very often the application of the rules of intestacy results in the deceased person’s property being distributed in a manner that they would never have wanted. This is because the rules set out a list of people who are entitled to receive shares in the deceased’s property as well as the amount of these shares and the order in which they are entitled to receive them. For example, if you die leaving a spouse and children, your spouse will inherit two-thirds of your estate and your children will inherit the remaining one-third in equal shares. If you die a bachelor without parent or children, your brothers and sisters will inherit your estate in equal shares.

There is really no good reason not to make a will. Making a will allows you to dictate through clear instructions how you want your assets distributed after your death. You can appoint guardians to take care of your minor children and make provision for their future, possibly through the creation of a trust.

At Walsh & Partners we believe in the importance of estate planning.  We are here to help our clients prepare their will so they may have peace of mind knowing their intentions will be carried out in the event of their passing.

Our legal team is experienced in advising individuals and their families, business partners and trustees on their legal options.  We provide specialised counsel, carefully taking clients through each stage of planning their estate and the practicalities that must be decided upon.

Walsh & Partners is here to discuss your personal concerns and to answer any questions you may have in relation to preparing a will and planning your estate.

Our areas of expertise include but are not limited to the following:

  • Making a Will
  • Estate and Succession Planning and Administration
  • Probate Management
  • Power of Attorney and Executor Services
  • Trust Formation and Administration
  • Estate Transfer and Inheritance Tax
  • Contesting a Will

You should not delay making a Will. You can easily amend your Will at a later stage. Contact us today. We are here to help.

Enduring Power of Attorney

From a financial and practical point of view, a person, while in good mental health, should create an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). This is a legal document which only takes effect in the event that the person becomes mentally incapacitated. This is an important point and one that is often misunderstood. The person creating the EPA is known as the Donor and in the event of his or her becoming incapacitated, power to deal with the Donor’s money and assets transfer to the Attorney. It becomes operative only if you become incapable of looking after your affairs and it continues in force until death.  By planning ahead and making an EPA, you are able to give your instructions whilst you are of sound mind.

In order to make an EPA, you must be mentally capable of doing so.  Your Attorney’s can be people such as your spouse, partner, parent, sibling or friend.  The choice of Attorney is a personal matter but a great deal of thought needs to be given to the nomination.

Once somebody has become unable to manage their affairs, it is too late to make an EPA.  If you have already made a Will, then an EPA will compliment this and help reassure both you and your family that you have made plans for the future.

An EPA allows your Attorneys to manage your assets for your benefit while you are alive but mentally incapacitated.  Your Will dictates what is to happen to your assets after your death. An EPA only takes effect if mental capacity is lost at a later date.  It does not take effect once executed.  You continue to manage your own affairs.

If you would like an appointment to discuss making an Enduring Power of Attorney please contact us and one of our solicitors will be happy to meet with you.

Fair Deal Scheme Applications

The Nursing Homes Support Scheme, known as the ‘Fair Deal’, provides financial support to people in long-term nursing home care. Under the scheme, you make a contribution towards the cost of your care and the State pays the balance. Your income and assets will be assessed, and in certain cases you can benefit from the scheme now and consent to a payment being made to the State after your death.

At Walsh & Partners, we have successfully submitted applications for clients who are resident in nursing homes and now benefiting from the scheme. We can advise you on your rights and obligations arising out of the scheme, and assist you in every step of the application process.

If the applicant, due to illness or cognitive impairment, cannot make the application for themselves, a relative may apply to the court to be appointed their Care Representative and make the application on the applicant’s behalf. If an Enduring Power of Attorney has already been executed by the applicant and registered, the Attorney is already appointed to make the application on his or her behalf.

Probate

When a deceased leaves a Will, the process to have the assets distributed is called Probate. The representative appointed by the deceased in the Will is the Executor. When a Grant of Probate issues from the Probate Office, the deceased’s estate can be distributed according to the terms of his Will.

If there is no Will, the process is called Administration. If no Will was made, the estate must be distributed according to Irish Law, i.e. the rules of intestacy.

At Walsh & Partners, we try to make what can be a stressful and upsetting time for the personal representative less so by assessing the estate and what work needs to be done, and providing comprehensive advice to the personal representative at every stage of the process.

Probate Litigation

The law surrounding probate can be complex, and there are occasions when an estate becomes involved in litigation.

At Walsh & Partners we have extensive experience of both taking and defending these actions. We have acted for children and spouses/partners who feel that they have not been adequately provided for in Wills. We have given advice to both the personal representative and a potential claimant on all aspects of succession including:

  • Drafting of Wills
  • Extraction of Letters of Administration Intestate
  • Extraction of Grants of Probate
  • Advice on Entitlements
  • Succession Disputes
  • Probate Disputes including litigation