Kevin Doughan, head of probate, Holmes O’Malley Sexton solicitors addressing the Shannon Chamber seminar. Photo: Eamon Ward
Attendees at a recent breakfast seminar organised by Shannon Chamber in conjunction with Holmes O’Malley Sexton (HOMS) solicitors were alarmed to hear that 66% of Ireland’s adult population have not made a will.
A closer look at this statistic shows that while 80% of people over 65 do make a will, the younger generation are more likely to put it off with 42% of those between 45 and 64 having a will and a mere 30% of the under 45s.
This focus on a non-business topic was an unusual departure for Shannon Chamber and was the first in a series of three events themed succession planning which the Chamber is hosting. It drew an attentive audience of business executives who were keen to understand the elements of making a will.
The seminar was expertly delivered by Kevin Doughan, a qualified estate and trust practitioner and head of probate with HOMS. Vastly experienced in the areas of wills, administration of estates, tax, trusts and wealth preservation, his advice to attendees was to have a will in place early in life, give time to the exercise and review it regularly.
“This creates certainty about who is getting what and allows people to appoint their chosen executors and trustees. It also allows testamentary guardians to be appointed to take care of children and ensures that adequate financial provision can be made for dependents, as well as enabling discretionary trusts to be set up for children with particular needs.”
Wills are a must for anyone who has children, property, savings or assets and, should a person die intestate, the deceased’s estate automatically goes to next of kin with specific provision for different family situations such as marital, non-marital and adopted children, or, in the case of step or foster children who have no automatic rights, provision can be made for such children only when there is a will in place.
“Will-making may seem complex but is very easily managed and once there is a will in place, there is certainty for the future, Wills can be changed periodically to take account of changing circumstances, so that’s why we encourage everyone with something to bequeath to make a will as making one can ensure tax efficiency and the avoidance of post-humous family disputes.” added Mr Doughan.
Commenting on the event, Shannon Chamber’s CEO Helen Downes said: “When the idea of a succession planning series was first proposed, I thought, why not? It’s something a lot of us don’t like taking about, perhaps it’s because we don’t like to face up to the reality that our lives are not infinite. Making a will is not an expensive undertaking so we are urging our members to give this aspect of their lives the attention it deserves.
“We’ve had a great reaction to the series and are now looking forward to the next event on Friday, 24 March which will deal with inheritance tax.”
Further information on all the succession planning events being run in conjunction with Holmes O’Malley Sexton and presented by Kevin Doughan can be found at https://www.shannonchamber.ie/events-training