Making a last will and testament in Ireland is an important part of estate planning. It is obviously the first thing that almost everyone will think of, however, as you begin to look into the subject of Irish wills other terms for estate planning will start popping up all over the place and this can make matters a bit confusing. Wills in Ireland are obviously about dealing with what happens to property and loved ones after death, yet they cannot deal with any important life changing issues that may occur during a persons lifetime. To cover this area of estate planning other legal documents with various names are used. When it comes to Irish wills, probate and estate planning areas to be aware of are:
- How to Make a Will
- Irish Will Law
- Contesting a Will
- Power of Attorney
- Enduring Power of Attorney; and
- Living Wills
Making a Will-Ireland
There are a variety of ways for making a will in Ireland. You can use a solicitor; an Irish wills online service, an Irish will kit or will template covering Ireland. There is a set format and procedure that has to be legally adhered to irrespective of what approach you use or whatever type of will you need to create. These procedures are explained to you and adhered to in each of the approaches, except the will template where you will be required to do research and read up about them first before writing a will.
Irish will law
If a will has been revoked (see below) or no will is written then the estate and property of the deceased is distributed according to the preset rules of Irish inheritance law as laid out in the Succession Act, 1965.
Contest a Will-Ireland
A revoked will is a will that has been declared void. A will could be revoked, in full or in part if it is incorrectly written, proper procedure is not followed or if someone had grounds to contest a will in Ireland. When it comes to successfully challenging an Irish will there has to be sufficient grounds for contesting a will in Ireland. For example, simply being unhappy with the will is not grounds for contesting. There needs to be something legally wrong with it and advice from a will disputes solicitors will identify this. Before spending money needlessly to contest a will it would make sense to view the division of the estate under the Irish inheritance laws because irrespective of the outcome you may never be destined to inherit anything anyway.
The Irish probate process takes place after a persons’ death and is the process of administering the estate. In Ireland an executor of a will is the person or people nominated in a will and testament to deal with the administering process. Before the executor(s) can begin the administering process they have to apply for a grant of probate in Ireland at one of the district probate registry offices located closest to where the deceased lived. If the deceased was living abroad then the main probate office in Ireland, located in Dublin, needs to be used.
Power of Attorney-Ireland
All powers of attorney in Ireland are about assigning powers to others to act on your behalf whilst you are alive. The person assigning powers to others is called the ‘Donor’ and the person given the power is called the ‘Attorney’. There are two sorts of power of attorney in Ireland. These are:
- Power of Attorney
- Enduring Power of Attorney
Power of Attorney
The power of attorney in Ireland is used to specify exactly what powers you give to someone else in relation to business, property and finance matters and the attorney can only act on your behalf while your not incapacitated (still of sound mind). An Irish power of attorney can be used to have someone take care of these matters if you are going to be absent for any reason such as being abroad or illness. You can also use it because you may trust someone to do a specific task better than you can do it yourself or perhaps you just need extra help with some of your affairs. You are not required by law to use a solicitor to create a power of attorney if you do not want to.
Enduring Power of Attorney
The enduring power of attorney in Ireland is applied to deal with the event of someone being incapacitated and needing someone else to take care of them. The powers transferred can be extensive and when being set up a person can impose selected limitations to these powers. The Irish enduring power of attorney is a complex and extremely important affair and because of this it is a legal requirement that the process must be completed with the help of both a solicitor and a doctor. This attorney power does not give any powers to make serious medical treatment decisions. One way to make advance decisions with regards serious medical treatments is using a living will.
A living will is about dealing in advance with matters of medical treatment should you be physically or mentally incapacitated such that you could not make your wishes known when it matters. In Ireland a living will can be completed, however, it is not covered by a legislation act; instead your wishes are most likely to be up held under common law.