By making a Will you can choose who you wish to inherit your assets, rather than this decision being made by the rules of intestacy. These rules may not reflect the way you wish to have your assets distributed. Drafting a Will does not take a long time but can provide peace of mind knowing that your affairs will be properly taken care of after your death.
If you are an unmarried couple or do not have a registered civil partnership you cannot inherit your spouse’s or partner’s estate unless he or she has a valid Will in place. This can often lead to financial difficulties for them. The laws of intestacy do not automatically take account of a cohabitant. In order to make a claim in an intestate estate, a cohabitant may have to institute court proceedings, which can be lengthy and expensive.
It is extremely important to have a Will in place if your children are under 18. In making a Will you can ensure that your children are provided for, that a Trust is put in place and guardians are appointed to look after your children in the event of your death.
There are huge benefits that can be made in tax planning by making a properly drafted Will and reducing the amount of inheritance tax payable by your beneficiaries after your death. In 2008 the threshold on the rate of inheritance tax was €521,208 from parent to child and any funds a beneficiary received over this figure was taxed at 20%. Fast forward to 2015, where the threshold for an inheritance from parent to child stands at €225,000, a more distant relative at €30,150 and a non-relative €15,075. Any inheritance in excess of these thresholds is taxed at 33%.
There is a significant rise in recent years in claim being made against the estates of people who have died. By seeking legal advice and making a Will you can better protect your estate from being contested and reduce the likelihood of a successful claim being made.