Almost half of all adults in Ireland have not planned for their future.
- Only 27% of Irish adults have made a will compared to 39% in the UK
- Just 6% of adults have put in place an Enduring Power of Attorney
- Irish residents are urged to plan for their estate in 2019
Irish residents and their family members are being urged to take the first steps to plan and manage their estate in 2019.
According to new research commissioned by Safeguarding Ireland, almost half of all adults in Ireland have not planned ahead for their estates. This was particularly the case for younger people (18-44), lower social classes and for women.
The Law Society of Ireland is a member of Safeguarding Ireland, which has been set up to promote the rights of adults who may be vulnerable.
The research also found older people are more likely to have planned ahead, particularly for wills. It showed only 27% of Irish adults have made a will compared to 39% of adults in the UK (www.kctrust.co.uk/partners/will-writer-research).
Making a will allows scope for estate planning. When a person dies, the deceased’s estate is everything they owned, except assets where ownership ceases on death or passes on automatically to someone else.
When a will is made, a person may choose who administers their estate, give particular assets to particular beneficiaries, take protective measures for vulnerable people such as young children, and plan the distribution of their estate in a tax efficient manner.
However, when a person dies without a will, the deceased is said to have died ‘intestate’ and the law decides how the estate should be divided among family members.
Plan in 2019
Solicitor Richard Hammond of Hammond Good Solicitors, Mallow, Cork is a Law Society Council member and former Chairperson of the Law Society’s Probate, Administration & Trusts Committee. A specialist in Wills and inheritance, he says the New Year is a great time for a person to plan their estate.
“This is the time of year when people tend to refocus, plan ahead and take action on important issues for their families and businesses,” says Mr Hammond.
“The start of a new year is a good opportunity to address one topic that might have been on the backburner for a while – planning your estate and how it will be managed after your death.”
“This is a sensible and smart approach for all Irish residents - not just for the older generation,” he says.
Appointing an attorney
According to the research, only 6% of adults have legally appointed an Attorney, under an Enduring Power of Attorney, to make legal and financial decisions, should they become unable to do so.
“We know that many people find planning for ill health and death daunting but a key first step is to speak with your solicitor. He or she can outline the process and facilitate and manage those important conversations with family members and loved ones, including how to make a will and how to create an Enduring Power of Attorney,” says Mr Hammond.
“Solicitors are always moving forward in their knowledge of and expertise in these complex and deeply personal topics. No matter what questions you have, or how complex the circumstances might be, your solicitor will have the best advice and solutions to help you plan your estate in 2019.”
The Law Society’s legal guides also contain basic information on the first steps to take to plan your estate. They free accessible guides are available on the Law Society website.
These guides are intended as a guide only and do not replace professional legal advice from your solicitor.
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