If a person dies having made a valid will (testate) then it is usually the Executor named in the will who ensures that the wishes of the deceased are carried out. If a person dies without having made a will (intestate) then it is the next of kin or family of the deceased who are entitled to administer his or her estate. At our first consultation, we explain the role of the Executor/Administrator, the steps involved, the tax implications, the time frame and the cost and lead them through the legal process of administering the estate.
A will is a written document that sets out what you would like to happen to your possessions or estate after you die. It must be signed and witnessed. If you die without making a will, your estate will be distributed according to the laws of Succession. If you want a say on who should benefit from your estate, you should make a will. Making a will is something that should be considered by people of all ages, especially those with children. Wills can be changed as your circumstances change and only take effect after your death.
Enduring Powers of Attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a legal document that can be signed by a person (the donor) during his/her life when he/she is in good mental health, appointing a person (the attorney) to take certain actions for the donor if the donor becomes mentally incapacitated. At that point, it is registered in the Wards of Court Office. The EPA may give general authority to the attorney to do anything that the attorney might lawfully do or it could be limited to specific acts on your behalf. We understand that organising a power of attorney can be complex and sometimes personally stressful, which is why we will work closely with you to make it as clear and straightforward as possible. This will give the peace of mind that your family will be looked after no matter how your personal circumstances change.
The Assisted Decision-Making Capacity Act 2015 was signed into law on 30th December 2015 but has not yet been commenced. When it is, it will provide for new legal arrangements by which people can be assisted to make decisions about their welfare and their property. It provides for a Court to appoint a Decision-Making Representative for a person. When the 2015 Act is commenced, it will replace Enduring Power of Attorney.