I am an old age pensioner aged 82 years and would like know what would happen to my property and assets if I passed away without having made a Will.
I would appreciate your advice.
Many thanks for your kindness.
Thank you very much for your letter. Most people make a Will because it enables them to provide for the special needs of family members and friends and ensures that the absolute minimum amount of tax is paid on death. In order for you to make a valid Will, you must be of sound mind and memory and understand that you are signing a legally binding document. A Will allows you to direct who will handle your affairs on your death ie: by nominating a person known as an Executor to administer your Estate. Without a Will, your assets will be distributed under the law of Intestacy. The Succession Act, 1965, provides that if a person dies Intestate (without having made a Will) their Estate will be divided as follows: If they die leaving a spouse or children, then their spouse receives two thirds of their Estate with the remaining one third being divided equally between their children. If a person dies without a living spouse (who may have predeceased them), then their Estate will be divided equally between their children living at the date of their death. If a person dies without a living spouse and children, then their mother and father will each take one half of their Estate. Where a person dies Intestate then the decision whether a Grant of Administration should be taken out depends on their assets i.e. whether they own their own home, they have a life policy which requires a Grant before payment is made and/or the amount of monies in their Bank Accounts, particularly, if accounts are held in their sole name and the monies in those Account’s are above a certain level. Where a person dies Intestate, then their immediate family members may be required to take out a Grant of Administration Intestate from the Probate Office, with the deceased persons assets being divided as outlined above. The legal costs involved will be payable from the deceased persons Estate. Alternatively, family members may elect to contact the Probate Office and with their assistance take out a Grant of Administration themselves.
I hope that the above information is helpful to you.
With Every Good Wish.