A recent survey not surprisingly indicated that almost two thirds of Irish adults have not made a Will. Making a Will is a straightforward and relatively inexpensive process. If a Will is not made then there is no executor and no agreed person in a position to take control of the estate of the deceased. The failure to make a Will leads to a failure as to who should inherit property. If a Will is not made the spouses receives two thirds of the estate and the remaining one third is divided between the children. The failure to make a Will may well have adverse tax implications which will create stress and financial loss to potential beneficiaries.
Consideration should also be given to making a Will leaving property to grandchildren as this may also save on tax.
With the current housing crisis a lot of adult children have had to move back home. Children have also moved back to look after parents who are elderly and have long term health issues. In these circumstances the parents may well consider leaving the family home to that child. There are criteria and strict conditions to be eligible for that particular tax break. The criteria are:-
1.The child must have lived continuously in the family home for at least three years before the relevant death
2.The home must have been the child’s only residence
3.The child cannot have any interest in any other property
4.The property in question must have been the principal private residence of the parent at the time of their death. In the normal way a child has to continue to stay in the family home for 6 years after they inherited.
There is a lot to consider in making a Will and it is best to seek professional advice in terms of legal and taxation consequences. If you have any queries, please contact Finola Cronin.