Why now is the time to write your Will
We all have lists of things we need to do, but keep putting off. Whether it’s going for a dental check-up, tidying the garage, or opening a savings account, that list of things you’ve been putting off for ages is a permanent feature – even if it is way back in your mind. The thing that might be most important on that list, but that 2 out of 3 of us haven’t gotten around to, is writing a will.
You don’t have to have a large estate to need a will – there are many varied reasons why it is important for everyone.
For parents, the first reason to write a Will, no matter who you are, is your children. If you haven’t made a Will, then their guardianship upon your death will be decided by the courts. Decisions regarding who cares for them and regarding their education etc. will be made with no reference to your wishes – because you won’t have made a record of what your wishes are. If there is one major reason to write a will it is so that you can be the one to decide who will best raise and love your children in the event of your death.
Preserving your assets, and reducing the tax bill on your death, are two other good reasons to consider writing that Will this year rather than next. A Will ensures that your estate will be divided according to your wishes and not as the Succession Act 1965 dictates. This may also highlight how prepared you are financially for an unexpected death.
A Will is also an essential part of planning for capital acquisitions tax. By making a Will you can, for example, make maximum use of the thresholds for your children and the spouse’s exemption from inheritance tax and ensure that there is less potential for delays and disputes over your estate.
What are the practical considerations for making a Will?
- A Will can be made by any person over age 18 or who is married and is of “sound disposing mind”.
- A Will must be “in writing”, which can include printed or typed Wills.
- The Will must be signed by the testator i.e. the person making the Will, in the presence of each of two or more witnesses present at the same time.
- The witnesses are only testifying to the signature of the testator. They do not have to read the will, nor is it necessary for them to know what is contained in the Will. It is important to note that a witness or any spouse of a witness cannot benefit under the Will.
- While an individual can draft his will in any way he wants he should bear in mind that the Succession Act of 1965 does give certain rights to an individual’s spouse, civil partner and children in certain circumstances, regardless of the terms of the Will.
What happens to my Assets if I die without making a Will?
|Where a person dies “intestate”, or |
they leave no Will
|Their spouse or civil partner is |
entitled to inherit their full estate,
where there are no children. Where
they had a spouse or civil partner and children the spouse or civil partner is entitled to 2/3rds.
Civil partners entitlement is subject to the financial needs of any children
The remaining 1/3 is divided equally
|Where there is no spouse or civil|
partner but there are children
|The estate is divided equally between the children.|
|Where there is no spouse or civil|
partner and no children
|The estate passes to parent(s), if |
living. If parents are deceased then
passes to brothers and sisters,
otherwise to wider family: the Act
provides a hierarchical list.
Source – Irish Life
This marketing information has been provided for discussion purposes only. It is not advice, it is provided for general information purposes only and does not fully take into account your financial position, investment needs and objectives, attitude to risk, liquidity needs, capital security needs, capacity for loss, etc. It should therefore not be relied upon to make investment decisions.
The particular tax treatment contained herein is based on Harvest Financial Services Limited’s understanding of current Revenue practice as at February 2019. Please note that the tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances of each client and may be subject to change in the future. You should take such independent tax advice as you deem appropriate.
The legislative information contained herein is based on Harvest Financial Services Limited’s understanding of current practice as at February 2019 and may be subject to change in the future.