One of the main reasons and the best advantage of making a Will is that it allows a person to specify who they would like to inherit their estate when they die and who they would like to ensure that their wishes are carried out.
A trust is where a person transfers something of value (such as a property) to another person called a trustee, who then manages and controls that asset for the benefit of a another person (in Wills this is generally the minor children or children with special needs) called a beneficiary.
Trusts have several uses, but the most common use is a Will whereby a parent leaves their estate to their children but their children are minors or have not reached the age in which the parent wishes them to receive their inheritance (sometime people will specify 23 or 25 as the age in which they want the trust distributed) . The Trustee looks after the estate until all children have reached the specified age. The Trustee uses the estate for the benefit of the children.
A discretionary trust is also advisable where you have a beneficiary who has special needs in order to protect their future needs in the event of the parent or guardian’s death.
To be authorised to administer the Estate of a deceased a legal document called a Grant of Representation is required of which there are three types. If there is a Will then the executor needs to take out the Grant of Probate. If there is no Will or if no executor (Executor is a legal term referring to a person named in a Will by the maker of the Will to ensure their wisher are carried out) has been appointed or the appointed person cannot act an Administrator may be appointed and they take out a Letter of Administration. We will complete the Application to be lodged with the Probate Office and ensure that the Assets are collected and distributed in a timely fashion.
We advise Executors in relation to their duties which include:
- Identifying and gathering the assets of the estate
- Paying lawful debts of testator
- Distributing the estate according to the wishes of the deceased.
- Duty to Account
- Liability of Executor
Each Will is a totally individual document that needs to be tailored to each client’s individual circumstances and requirements. The Solicitor must be able to consider the tax implications of the client’s proposals and advise him or her on a means of achieving their goals in the most tax efficient way. The Solicitor must put the person in a position where he or she is aware of all the various reliefs and exemptions and is fully aware of the advisability or not of placing assets in a trust.
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that can be created by a person called the donor during his/her life when he/she is in good mental health and it allows another specifically appointed person called the Attorney to take actions on the Donors behalf and to make personal care decisions once he/she is no longer fully mentally capable of taking decisions him/her self. Personal care decisions may include deciding where and with whom the Donor will live, medical assistance, financial decisions including dealing with property matters belonging to the Donor. The procedure for executing the Enduring Power of Attorney is complex as it involves the transfer of considerable powers from you to another person nd requires the involvement of a doctor and Solicitor.