Wills should be clear and simple.

 A typical Will would be a spouse leaving everything to their spouse and then everything equally to their children. Where there are family members with special needs then a simple form of discretionary trust should be used.  A spouse and children have rights and their entitlements need to be considered. Where you have young children you should appoint legal guardians and trustees in your Will. When considering what to include in your Will a good approach is to remember the people who are close to you and you might also like to consider your favourite charities.  

Inheritance Tax is an important consideration. There is no inheritance tax between spouses. Children are currently allowed €310,000, with brothers/sisters/nieces/nephews having a threshold of €32,500 and friends having a threshold of €16,250 after which tax is then charged at 33% on anything over these thresholds. The thresholds are cumulative with all gifts and inheritances being aggregated in each category since the 5th December 1991 (excludes small gifts). Wills are rarely challenged but where they are challenged the grounds would be undue influence and non-compos mentis.  Property can be gifted prior to death. For spouses consideration should be given to putting property into joint names (including bank accounts) with the intention that on a death the property would pass automatically to the survivor.

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