Wills, Tax, Asset Protection & Probate

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Wills, Tax, Asset Protection & Probate

We believe in a holistic approach to providing advice and assistance in this area.

Wills - It is recommended that our clients make Wills to ensure that our Clients benefit exactly who they wish on their death and in the most tax efficient manner.

Intestacy - Many people do not realise that without a Will, their estate will pass in accordance with the Law of Intestacy, which sets out the order of persons entitled to an estate. This is often not what the person would wish. For example an Intestacy excludes a partner if the person is not married or in a civil partnership. A properly drafted will avoid this eventuality.

Estate Administration – Often referred to as probate, we offer a caring, efficient service covering all aspects of estate administration. This process may require the involvement of surveyors, valuers, stockbrokers accountants and financial advisors as well as HM Revenue & Customs. We take care of all of this for you.

Contested Wills the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) (NI) Order 1979 gives specified categories of person the right to seek a share in the estate of a deceased person, if that deceased person failed to make “reasonable financial provision” for them in their will. This is an area of law with many uncertainties. There are many factors to be weighed up when advising on the prospects of success. With our experienced legal advice, many inheritance provision claims are settled without a court appearance by means of negotiation and settlement. Our litigators promote this approach when appropriate, but will act quickly to enforce your rights in the Chancery Court if necessary.  

Will Trusts – Often grandparents or parents may wish to leave money or property to children. We can advise on setting up appropriate trusts to protect these legacies. We also have experience in drafting trusts for disabled beneficiaries.  

Estate & Inheritance tax planning – The current Inheritance tax rate is 40%. With careful planning, we may be able to help minimize our Clients exposure to Inheritance tax. We have experience working in consultation with accountants and independent financial advisers to obtain the best possible tailored plan for Clients to ensure they make the best use of Tax planning strategies available. 

Asset protection and Nursing Home fees – If you go into long term care because of mental or physical disability, your savings have to be used to pay for this and once those savings were exhausted, your house would have to be sold to enable you to remain in long term care. The costs of long term care in a nursing home in Northern Ireland is currently approximately £2000 per month and rising.  The creation of an Asset protection Trust allows you to live in and keep control of your property throughout your lifetime. If long term care is required, your property within the trust cannot be used to fund your care fees.

Enduring Powers of Attorney – We recommend the execution of such a document  to ensure someone of your choosing may deal with the management of your affairs during your lifetime should you become frail or suffer mental incapacity.  These documents are not just for more elderly clients and we recommend this document is prepared in conjunction with your will and estate planning regardless of the age of our private and business clients.

Controllership Applications and Office of Care and Protection matters - If someone who is, or is becoming, mentally incapacitated has not already created an Enduring Power of Attorney, and you wish to manage their financial affairs, you will need to apply to the Office of Care and Protection to be appointed as their controller.  We can advise you upon the procedure and assist with the application to the Court.

With McAteer & Co you can be assured your file will be dealt with by a qualified and experienced solicitor. To find out more about our services, please do not hesitate to contact John Keir.