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What happens if I don't make a Will

Your Estate will be distributed according to law which may not be what you wish. In addition, the distribution of your Estate may not be tax efficient.

Will a spouse automatically inherit everything where their children and assets are in the deceased spouse's name?

No. Therefore, a Will is important to protect the surviving spouse.

Can I leave my house to one of my children only, to the exclusion of the others?

Yes, but you should be aware of the implications of a Section 117 application.

Can my children dispute my Will?

Yes, but it depends on the circumstances and facts of each case.

Is it cheaper to make a "home-made" Will? Are there any pitfalls in making one?

There are many pitfalls which might cause a Will to be rejected by the Probate Office so that your wishes might not be carried out. Your Estate would then be distributed according to law which might be disastrous for your inherited beneficiaries.

What are Executors and do I need them for my Will?

Executors are people usually appointed in your Will to extract the Grant of Probate through the Probate Office. A Grant of Probate is needed so that the assets of the Estate can be collected and then distributed to the beneficiaries. Executors are needed for all Wills.

Do Executors appointed in my Will have any power to deal with my assets during my lifetime?

No. An Executor's powers only commence after death.

How can I protect my young children if I die?

By way of a Trust which can be tailored to their needs at your direction.

Are there any tax implications for a Trust?

Yes there are and we would be happy to advise you on this important but complex area.

Who else can be protected by a Trust?

Anyone whom you feel may need protection,

e.g. anyone under the age of eighteen years (note that minors cannot hold land);

a person over eighteen who is incapable of managing their own affairs;

a mentally incapacitated person;

an elderly person.

How long does the Grant of Probate take to issue?

There are 2 steps to take before a Grant can be extracted:-

1. An Inland Revenue Affidavit must be sworn and delivered to the Revenue Commissioners.

2. The original Will and other documents must be lodged in the Probate Office.

The minimum period to extract a Grant would be six months approximately, but may take much longer depending on the circumstances and complexity of the Estate.

As an Executor, am I liable to pay any bills from my own pocket?

No. The Estate should bear the costs of any bills relating to the Estate. An Executor would be entitled to be refunded from the Estate for any expenses properly incurred in discharging his duties in relation to the Estate.

What if there is a house, but no other assets, ie money. How are bills to be paid?

There is no straight answer. Possible solutions include selling the property, or raising a mortgage. These and other solutions depend upon the circumstances of each case, consent of beneficiaries etc.

What is the tax free threshold for gifts and inheritances from parents to their children?

The current Group A tax free threshold, which applies mainly to gifts and inheritances from parents to their children, is €280,000.

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