For individuals

A PERSONAL LEGAL CHECKLIST

Do you have a will?

Why is a Will important?

If you die without making a Will it is not a huge worry as there are rules and systems in place in Ireland to determine where your property goes. This is called Intestacy. Generally Intestacy law is very well structured and your Estate will be left to the next of kin you would expect it to be left to. It involves a fairly mathematical exercise.

However you may wish to consider the following:

  • When you have made a Will, you have personally decided who you wish your property to go to, you have control over it (within reason as there are spousal rights and protections in place and rights for children to apply to Court if necessary). Generally speaking however, you are in the driving seat in terms of decisions;
  • With young children, they can ‘hold’ property but they cannot transact in it. So for example if you do not have a Will, your property on Intestacy may be left to your Wife (two-thirds) and equally between your children where applicable (they will share one-third between them on Intestacy. If your children are still under 18 years, it becomes tricky in terms of trusts etc whereas if you have made a Will when you have young children generally you may choose to leave everything to your spouse (who in turn is the main carer of your children). Again it gives more flexibility and choice;
  • When you die with a Will, your property is immediately vested in your appointed people (Executors) at time of your death. If you die without having made a Will, your property is technically vested in the Irish State until your next of kin who are entitled apply for a Grant in your Estate make their application to the Probate Office to enable them deal with your affairs. This involves a number of months waiting;
  • A Will is really the last communication you have with your family and loved ones. It speaks after your death. It is an opportunity to make people feel cared for and considered. Even the smallest gifts and inheritances can make people feel very special.;
  • A Will can mean you make difficult decisions easier for your loved ones If you have already carefully considered who you want to sit in a deciding chair with regard to your childrens’ welfare for example, or if you have all your personal details already stored your solicitor regarding the location of your bank accounts/ shares/ investments/ deeds etc it can take tumultuous work off the shoulders of someone grieving. I have personally seen the relief on loved ones faces when I can assist them at a traumatic time and it makes my job very worthwhile.

Can I just make my own Will?

Many people ask this and it is an understandable question. It seems like such a simple document. In an online world it also seems we have everything readily at our disposal and the internet generation makes us more knowledgeable than ever. Many people will think as a Solicitor and Lawyer, of course I am going to advise that your Will should only be put in place by a professional!

Please consider this- as a Solicitor and Lawyer one of our highest areas of liability for insurance purposes are Wills and Probate. There is a reason for this. There is an intricate body of legislation to navigate and which provides the backdrop to every single Will which seems so simple. The execution of a Will attracts very strict rules which sometimes need additional proofs later on to verify proper procdure. Our role as Solicitors and Lawyers is to make this process easy for you to navigate and seamless.

Do I need to have a lot of property or assets to make a will?

Absolutely not. As the saying goes ‘there is nothing more certain in life than death and taxes’. A Will needs to see into the future and be as relevant on the day it is signed as the day we die. Nobody knows exactly how much property they will die possessed of. Some may have a fairly good idea, but one example I particularly like is winning the lotto tomorrow morning- a good Will ought to cover every scenario!

Post Death What Happens and How much Does it Cost?

After a person dies their family members get in contact with their Solicitor who will guide them through the process. An application for a Grant of Probate (or Administration where there is no Will) is an intricate and lengthy process with a lot of detail involved. Solicitor fees will depend on each individual case but are generally charged with reference to the time involved and the expertise.

Do you have an Enduring Power of Attorney?

What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a very specific type of document, goverened by Irish law which only becomes effective when you are no longer capable of looking after your own affairs. You put an Enduring Power of Attorney in place when you are lucid and very capable of looking after your own affairs so that in the event you were ever to become incapacitated you have thought through in advance who the people you trust are and who you want making decisions on your behalf. In many ways I regard an Enduring Power of Attorney as more important than a Will- it affects us when we are alive.

How does an Enduring Power of Attorney Work?

The Enduring Power of Attorney only becomes effective when you are no longer able to mind yourself and make your own decisions- to a level where you are described as ‘incapacitated’ a position certified for you by two treating medical practitioners. If it becomes necessary, the document can be invoked by filing it in the High Court in Ireland making it effective.

How far reaching is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

It depends on how you have tailored the document on consultation with your Solicitor or Lawyer. You can make the powers very general and wide reaching- for example, allowing your attorney to access your bank accounts and transact, sell your property and even have decisions regarding your dress, medical decisions etc or you can restrict the powers to your own personal wishes.

Buying or Selling Property

Why your solicitor is important.

Buying or selling property is a very important event. It is often one of the biggest single investments you make in life, and the most money you will spend on an individual transaction. It is important to me as your Solicitor that you benefit from the highest possible standard of legal care. As a Solicitor I pride myself in thorough attention to detail, where I serve my client’s needs thoroughly and reliably. I strive to make each transaction as seamless as possible for you as my client while leaving no stone unturned in the process (pun intended!). I am committed to providing the highest quality conveyancing standards to the people I am privileged to act for. My client’s needs matter to me, as does their end journey. Their best possible outcome in the process is my priority, so that they have the peace of mind of knowing their investment is secure with good title and follow through.

How much does it cost?

I offer competitive quotes for buying and selling property. This does not mean cheap. I aim to be very good value for the work I do. Considering it is one of the most important investments we make as individuals, it is important to me that my clients get the best possible legal service available at a reasonable cost. Costs depend on your individual needs and the value of the transaction. Please contact me by email contact@susanuiuiginn.ie or by telephone 091 567550 for a quote.

What other costs need to be considered when buying or selling a property?

Solicitors costs are based on a professional fee (which is the only competitive element) plus Vat (currently 21%) plus outlay. Outlay are standard charges which apply when you buy or sell a property. For example, you will pay stamp duty on the Deed of purchase (currently 1% on the first €1 million and 2% thereafter) and registration fees are payable to the Property Registration Authority (see https://www.prai.ie/fees/). Title search fees are also a very important outlay item to ensure there are no registered judgments against the property you purchase. A solicitor is obliged at the outset of a transaction to set out clearly in writing all charges and costs which will apply. You will therefore know conclusively once Contracts and title are produced by the Vendor what charges will apply for you as a purchaser as the letter will outline the individual costs for your transaction. For a quote please contact me by email contact@susanuiuiginn.ie or by telephone 091 567550.