Lifetime Planning

Lifetime Planning:


Traditionally, planning for your future meant making a Will, providing for your loved ones and friends after your passing. A will is essential where you wish to plan for such eventuality. It allows you to ensure that your wishes are followed concerning your property and affairs. It can also be useful in planning for the devolution of your estate in a tax efficient manner. You should have a will, and if you do have a will, you should review it at least once every five years.

We have now however adopted a more holistic approach in future planning, we now refer to it as Lifetime planning. If you are prepared to plan for life after your death, why not plan for life before death?

The “Holy Trinity” of Lifetime Planning up until recently comprised of a Will, an Enduring Power of Attorney and an Advance Health-Care Directive.

A will provides for your property and affairs after your passing.

An Enduring Power of Attorney allows you appoint someone to act as your Attorney to make certain decisions for you at a future date when you no longer have the ability to make those decisions for yourself.

An Advance Health-Care Directive allows you appoint someone to act as your healthcare representative to make healthcare decisions on your behalf when you are unable to make them yourself.

A new system of support has now been introduced for people with intellectual disabilities, older people with diminished capacity or dementia and people whose capacity has been affected by traumatic injury.

The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 introduced for the first time Decision-Making Assistance Agreements; Co-Decision Making Agreements; and for the appointment of Decision-Making Representative Orders.

It provided for the first time a Statutory presumption of Capacity and a graduated system of support, support meaning different things to different people depending on their needs.

It empowers people to make their own decisions and respect the right of human beings to make choices for themselves and at all times to be treated with dignity and respect.

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Declan O’Toole BCL TEP is a Trust and Estate Practitioner and advises on Lifetime Planning



Intestacy? Whats that?


Intestacy is the legal description of the situation arising when you don’t leave a valid will. Intestacy can be total, as in no will, or partial, where there is a will but it doesn’t doesn’t cover all property or circumstances.

The Succession Act 1965 governs the actual distribution of estates intestate between those entitled to succeed. There are two starting points in determining who is entitled to inherit and in what shares. The first is establishing the marital status of the deceased as at date of death; the second is establishing the next of kin.

It also determines whom is entitled to act in applying for a Grant of Administration Intestate, as in whom will have access to all your papers, property and affairs.

Next of kin do not hold equal rights to succeed or necessarily equal shares on Intestacy, they are ranked in terms of degrees of kinship, in descending order as follows: Spouse/civil partner; Children or children of a child who predeceased the deceased; Father/mother or in non marital cases, the mother; siblings; nephews/nieces; Grandparents; Uncles/Aunts; Greatgrandparents; other next of kin of nearest degree; nominee of state.

Various  situations arise on Intestacy, such as where  only a spouse/civil partner survives  with no children of the marriage or partnership; a spouse/civil partner survives along  with children; where there are only children surviving; where children and children of a predeceased child survive; where only Parent(s) survive; or where only siblings survive. What of children of the deceased, other than of the marriage or partnership?

Every possible circumstance is provided for under The Succession Act 1965, although its terms may require careful consideration, assisted by the findings in previous Court cases in determining what is to happen in each case.

Sound complicated? It should because it is. Make your life and the lives of your next of kin simpler. Make a Will.

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Declan O’Toole BCL TEP is a Trust and Estate Practitioner and advises on Lifetime Planning

You don’t have to make a will….

I recently had an interesting conversation with a client about his will. We had just completed a complex and long drawn out matter and I asked him about his will. He didn’t have one and whats more, he didn’t plan on making one. Why should he, he asked when the Law will dictate what happens after his death. The law will look after everything!

“So you’re a fan of The Succession Act 1965?” I asked. No as it turns out. He didn’t even know what that meant, but he had an absolute faith in the law looking after his affairs. So I asked him to humour me. I asked him to list 4 things he would like to happen with his affairs after his death. So we looked at his list in the context of The Succession Act 1965. We discovered that he would achieve 1 out of his 4 wishes.

So, we reached a consensus. We agreed that he absolutely did not have to make a will, but that if he wanted to achieve more than 1 in 4, he had to make a will. The ultimate outcome? We carried out a full review. His final wishlist went way beyond 4, but he now has a will that meets his precise requirements and in a tax efficient way.

His next project is an Enduring Power of Attorney.

Happy Days.

Declan O’Toole BCL TEP is a Trust and Estate Practitioner and advises on Lifetime Planning.


Who is the right Solicitor for me?

So you are faced with a problem or an opportunity?  You may be buying or selling a house, you may want to make or review your Will, were you injured in an accident at work or a car accident, do you need a Contract of Employment, have you been threatened with dismissal?  Whatever your particular problem or indeed opportunity, you need to be able to choose the right Solicitor for you.  It could be this firm, it could just as easily be another.  Hopefully, these guidelines will be of benefit to you.  This is just our take on the question.

Before you choose to retain a Solicitor, you should make sure to ask him or her the following questions:
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