This article first appeared in the Wicklow and Bray People on 1 January 2020.

The New Year is a time of resolutions, often accompanied by a spring clean – of your house, desktop or office. It’s also a good time to take care of some personal admin tasks, including looking at the important documents that everyone should have to hand.  

Ensuring these documents are up-to-date and in a safe, easily-accessible place, can save you and your loved ones stress further down the line.

  1. Will

An obvious document is your will as it is often put on the long finger. A 2017 survey from Royal London found that just 28% of Irish adults had a will in place.

In legal terms, a testator is a person who has made a will. If you die without making a will, you are said to die intestate. In that case, the statutory rules of Intestacy apply:

Where there is a spouse or civil partner and no issue (children, grandchildren, etc.), the spouse or civil partner takes the whole estate. If there is a spouse or civil partner and issue, the spouse or civil partner takes two thirds and the other third goes to the issue. If a child of the deceased dies before the deceased but leaves children, then those grandchildren take their late parent’s share. If there is no spouse or civil partner, then the issue take the whole estate. If a child of the deceased dies before the deceased but leaves children, then those grandchildren take their late parent’s share.If there is neither spouse nor civil partner nor issue, the estate is distributed between the deceased’s parents in equal shares. If only one parent is alive, that parent takes the whole estate. If there is neither spouse nor civil partner nor issue nor parents, the estate is distributed between brothers and sisters in equal shares. If any brother/sister dies before the deceased but leaves children, then those children take their late parents’ share. If the closest living relatives are nephews and nieces, the estate is distributed equally between them. Where there are no nephews/nieces or closer living relatives, then the estate is distributed in equal shares among the next of kin, i.e. the nearest blood relatives.

Please feel free to contact us about any queries that you may have in relation to your will.

  1. Enduring Power of Attorney

An enduring power of attorney allows an appointed person to make decisions on your behalf in case of incapacitation. This allows a trusted friend or relative to make financial or healthcare decisions where you are unable to deal with these affairs.

Article by: Ray Fitzpatrick, Partner at Augustus Cullen Law Solicitors. Augustus Cullen Law is based at 7 Wentworth Place, Wicklow. If you would like more information on this topic, call +353 404 67412 or email info@aclsolicitors.ie


03 January 2020

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