Wills and Succession
The making of a will is important as doing so will dictate how your estate will be distributed when you pass. You will be able to pass on whatever you want to whoever you want; you may leave gifts to people who, if you died intestate (without making a will), would otherwise receive nothing.
When drafting a will, it is advisable to get legal help from a solicitor. This will make sure that the document you have signed is legally binding, and will ensure that when you pass, each of the aspects of the Will will be followed the way you intended them to be.
In your will, you can lay down provisions to declare what will happen to any surviving dependent children when you pass. For example, if you are the legal guardian for a child, you can decide who will take guardianship of this child after you pass. It is important you discuss this matter with the proposed guardian when you are drafting the will, to prevent the guardian refusing to look after the child on your death.
As well as planning for any children, the same should be carried out with respect to any dependants with special needs.
Enduring Power of Attorney
If you believe that a close friend or family member is beginning to lose his/her ability to make decisions for themselves on important issues due to either age or a mental health illness, you can apply for an enduring power of attorney to be set up. For the purpose of the EPA agreement, you would be known as the attorney and your close friend or family member would be known as the donor.
Having an enduring power of attorney allows the attorney to make decisions on behalf of the donor when their mental state has deteriorated to the stage where he/she can no longer make financial decisions.
The agreement would dictate the decisions that the attorney could make for the donor, for example, the EPA agreement could allow the attorney to have complete control over the donors’ financial decisions.
The agreement is first drawn up when the donor is lucid. When and only when a GP establishes that he/she cannot make appropriate financial or medical decisions, an application must be made to the High Court to have the EPA agreement enforced.
It is crucial that the person the donor selects is trustworthy and that they are confident that the attorney will make decisions with the donors’ best interests at heart.
The Fair Deal Scheme
As a person ages, they may seek more long term healthcare options such as moving into full time, long term nursing home care.
The Fair Deal Nursing Home Support Scheme is a scheme set up by the government to provide financial support to people intending to enter long term care in a nursing home.
Based on a financial and care assessment, the state will decide what degree of care you require and decide how much of your care you can afford to pay. The state will pay the balance.
All public and voluntary care homes automatically qualify for this scheme. The HSE website also has a list of private care homes that qualify.
Anybody who is an ordinary resident of Ireland qualifies for the scheme, this means that in order to apply you must have been living in Ireland for a year or intend to live in Ireland for a year, the age of the potential applicant is irrelevant.
If you qualify for the scheme, you will contribute 80% of your weekly income to your nursing home care. The state will pay whatever this amount doesn’t cover, for example if your care costs €1000 per week, and your weekly income is €500, you will contribute €400 and the state will pay the remaining €600. As well as this, you must pay 7.5% of the value of all of your assets annually. After the first three years, your residential home is no longer considered as part of your chargeable assets.
We at Cahir & Co. Solicitors have decades of experience in dealing with Senior and Elder Law, if you have an enquiry about any of the aforementioned areas, or any area in relation to senior law, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.