Probate, Wills & Estate Planning

Blake & Kenny LLP have generations of experience and expertise in administering estates, from the reading of the will to the distribution of assets, including tax management.

We at Blake & Kenny would strongly suggest that every adult make a will under the guidance of an experienced Solicitor.

A will is also an important tax-planning device.  It can be drafted to make the best possible use of the various tax reliefs.Our expert and experienced staff will discuss the entire process with you. We will ensure that your interests are protected at all times and that the procedure is carried out speedily and efficiently.

Finally, you should always seek legal advice on the possible tax implications of either receiving or giving any gift or inheritance.

At Blake and Kenny we provide comprehensive, expert advice on all aspects of succession law, inheritance tax and estate planning.

A Will is a legal document whereby a person can clearly set out their wishes and instructions in relation to particular matters to take effect on their death.  By making a Will, not only can a person plan and provide for what happens their assets upon their death, a Will also permits a person to provide for the special needs of certain vulnerable family members. Making a Will involves careful tax planning and consideration to ensure that a person’s assets will be distributed in the most tax efficient manner.

A person is entitled to revise their will up to the date of their death, and we would advise that as your particular life circumstances change or as tax legislation is amended, you should consult our experts to review your will.

When a person dies without making a Will, they are said to have died intestate, and essentially loose control over how their assets will be distributed upon their death. Instead, their assets will be distributed in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy as set out in the Succession Act 1965, which will determine how, and to whom their assets will be distributed.

If you wish to contact one of our experts with a view to making a Will, please review our WILL INSTRUCTION SHEET which we require you to complete before you attend our office.

Blake & Kenny Solicitors have many years of experience in providing an expert legal service to Executors/Legal Personal Representatives and beneficiaries. We deal with all aspects of the administration of estates, both where there is a will, and also where the deceased died without making a will. Our experts are experienced in all aspects of a deceased’s estate from drafting and preparing all the necessary documents for lodging with the Revenue Commissioners and the Probate Office in order to extract the relevant grant of administration, to dealing with all estate taxes, right through to the distribution of the estate to the relevant beneficiaries and preparation of the necessary estate accounts.

We also provide a service of independent legal advice to beneficiaries in an estate who may need separate legal or tax advice.

Inheritance Tax (Capital Acquisition Tax) is a tax arising where a person (known as a beneficiary) receives an inheritance from someone who has died. Whether or not inheritance tax is payable is dependent on several issues, such as the value of the gift or inheritance received, and the person from whom it is received.

Inheritance tax is payable at the relevant rate on an inheritance when the value of that inheritance exceeds certain exemption limits (known as tax free thresholds). A person’s tax free threshold is determined by their relationship to the deceased.

Tax rates and reliefs can change annually and unfortunately over the last number of years, Irish inheritance tax free thresholds have been reduced considerably, while the rate of tax continues to increase.  Our staff at Blake and Kenny are highly skilled in providing expert tax advice to beneficiaries and in the preparation and submission of tax returns on their behalf. Our Solicitors can advise you on any reliefs or exemptions which may be claimed and can advise you of the relevant tax deadlines so as to avoid surcharges and penalties accruing on your inheritance.

It is not unusual for disputes to arise during the course of the administration of an estate. Our Solicitors at Blake and Kenny have extensive experience in dealing with contentious issues and disputes arising between beneficiaries, aggrieved family members and claims against an estate such as Section 117 claims which can be brought by a child of the deceased, or actions involving a dispute over the interpretation of a Will. Disputes in an estate can arise for any number of reasons, but whatever the reason, our experts at Blake & Kenny Solicitors in Galway City are qualified to deal with all contentious matters.

Unfortunately it is fast becoming a part of every day life whereby a family can find themselves faced with a situation where a family member has become vulnerable or mentally incapacitated for whatever reason such as advancing age or as a result of a progressive illness such as dementia, Alzheimer’s or as a result of a serious accident. When someone becomes mentally incapacitated, they become incapable of dealing with their own finances and affairs, unless they have made provision of such an event, by signing what is known as an Enduring Power of Attorney.  Here at Blake and Kenny Solicitors Galway, our staff are specialists in the drafting and preparation of Enduring Powers of Attorney.

Below we have set out a brief summary on “What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?” to help explain its function and highlight its benefits. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a legal document which allows an individual to appoint an attorney(s) of their own choosing, to manage their personal care decisions and financial affairs, in the event of their becoming mentally incapacitated at some stage in the future. Essentially once prepared and executed, this legal document will be stored securely by Blake & Kenny Solicitors in Galway and remains dormant, if and until such time as the individual loses their mental capacity.  If such a situation arises, the individual’s incapacity must be certified by a registered medical expert and the EPA must then be registered with the High Court.  An EPA allows an individual, while still mentally capable of doing so, to appoint an attorney(s), to deal with their property, finances and affairs on their behalf, and according to their own wishes, should they ever become mentally incapable of doing so.

While the preparation of an Enduring Power of Attorney may be particularly relevant where a client is of advancing years, Enduring Powers of Attorney are not just of importance for the elderly, but should be considered by anyone who attends Blake & Kenny Solicitors Galway to make a will or buying investment property. Making an Enduring Power of Attorney can often be equally as important as making a Will, as it essentially allows an individual to state, in a legal document, how they wish their affairs, assets and personal care to be looked after and managed, in the event that they ever become mentally incapable of managing their own affairs at some point during their lifetime, and in this regard, offers individuals peace of mind in the knowledge that their wishes and instructions will be carried out, as they wish, by their appointed attorney(s).

If you wish to make proper provision for your future in the event of an unforeseen loss of mental incapacity, and you wish to enquire about making an Enduring Power of Attorney, please contact Dawn Lyons of our office who will be happy to assist you.

Please review our EPA INSTRUCTION SHEET which you may complete before you attend Blake & Kenny Solicitors. Please note that all enquires and consultations are strictly confidential.

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.