Enduring Power of Attorney: Your Questions Answered

Enduring Power of Attorney: Your Questions Answered

End of life planning is never easy and can often be a difficult thing to discuss with your loved ones. However, if you are an elderly person, or have elderly parents, then being familiar with the concepts and laws surrounding end of life planning, especially Enduring Power of Attorneys (often referred to as EPAs) can be very important. There are numerous reasons why understanding the law surrounding Enduring Power of Attorneys is imperative to you and your family’s peace of mind, especially if you are in a position where one may likely be needed. The topic of EPA, and end of life planning generally, can be a difficult topic to think about, but it is important to have an Enduring Power of Attorney in place in case something happens and you can’t make decisions for yourself. As experts in the areas of elderly care law, we at Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors thought it best to put together a blog post to answer some of the most common questions people have regarding EPAs. We hope this information will help you make the best decision for you and your loved ones!

So What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

In Ireland, an Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you (the “donor”) to appoint someone else, generally a close family member, (the “attorney”) to make decisions on your behalf in the event that you lose the ability to do so for yourself in the future. This could be due to incapacity, mental illness or physical injury. Your attorney will have the power to make decisions over your financial affairs, your personal welfare, or both. The attorney must be over 18 years of age and must be someone you trust implicitly to make decisions in your best interests.

It is important to note that an Enduring Power of Attorney only comes into effect if, and when, you lose mental capacity. This means that the attorney can only make decisions on your behalf if a doctor has certified in writing that you are no longer mentally capable of making those decisions for yourself. This is to protect your interests and to ensure that the attorney only acts on your behalf when it is absolutely necessary.

Enduring Power of Attorney can be a very useful tool, especially for elderly people or those with chronic illnesses, as it gives peace of mind knowing that there is someone you trust who can make decisions on your behalf. As a result, it is very important to think long and hard about who you appoint as your attorney. This person should be someone you know very well and trust completely to make the best decisions for you, even if those decisions may not always be easy ones.

When is an Enduring Power of Attorney Necessary?

One of the most important considerations when deciding if an Enduring Power of Attorney is necessary or not is your family. How would your family cope if you were to lose capacity and were unable to make decisions for yourself? With exponential increases in medical care and life expectancy, it is important to have arrangements in place that anticipate the unthinkable.

As you are well aware, there are many ways in which someone can lose their decision making capacity and an Enduring Power of Attorney might be necessary. In Ireland, a terribly high number of instances occur due to dementia, Alzheimer and strokes. According to the Alzheimer Society of Ireland: “In Ireland, it is estimated that there are 55,000 people living with dementia. This figure is expected to rise to 150,000 by 2045.”

With such high numbers, and with medical advancements meaning that more and more people are surviving conditions that would have previously been fatal, the importance of end of life planning has never been more pressing. Situations such as these can be incredibly difficult for families to deal with, as it can be hard to know when the time is right to start making decisions on behalf of a loved one. Enduring Power of Attorney can take some of the pressure off by ensuring that there is someone in place who can make those decisions when the time comes. Having an EPA in place also acts to bypass a lot of potential disagreements and issues that could arise in your family regarding end of life care if you lose decision making capacity.

What Irish Laws Govern Enduring Power of Attorneys?

The Powers of Attorney Act, 1996 is the primary legislation governing Powers of Attorney in Ireland. This Act was amended by the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2011. The 2011 Act inserted a new section, which provides that an Enduring Power of Attorney shall cease to have effect if the donor revokes it before losing mental capacity.

The Powers of Attorney Act, 1996 sets out the requirements which must be met for a valid Enduring Power of Attorney.

What if I Don’t Have an Enduring Power of Attorney in Place and Lose Mental Capacity?

If you do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney in place and lose mental capacity, your family will have to apply to the Court of Protection for a wardship order. Applications for wardship are a court based process and can be lengthy and expensive. It is much easier for everyone concerned if you have an Enduring Power of Attorney in place before such an unfortunate situation arises.

How Enduring is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

Under the Powers of Attorney Act 1996, an EPA only comes into effect if the donor loses mental capacity. In order for an EPA to come into effect, an application must be made to the High Court to have the Enduring Power of Attorney registered. You must also notify the Registrar of Wards of Court in writing of the intended registration. Once an EPA has been registered, it cannot be revoked unless a revocation is ratified and confirmed by the High Court.

Another thing to note is that an Enduring Power of Attorney ceases upon the death of the donor. Other situations where an EPA will cease to have effect is if the appointed attorney is a spouse of the donor and the marriage/civil partnership is ended by divorce, annulment, dissolution or judicial separation.

While it’s not something people like to think about, end of life planning and planning for the unthinkable is very important. Ensuring that you are prepared for what life may throw your way should be paramount, especially as you head towards the later chapters of your life. By having an Enduring Power of Attorney in place, can relieve your family and loved ones of some of the stresses and heartaches surrounding your end of life well-being and affairs. Here at Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors, we have years of experience in elderly care law and we would be delighted to answer any further questions you may have, or aid you in creating an Enduring Power of Attorney. Contact us today.

Selling a house in Ireland: What you need to know

Selling a house in Ireland: What you need to know

If you’re looking to sell your house in Ireland, there are a few things you need to know. The process of selling a house in Ireland can be tricky, so it’s important that you understand what’s involved before diving in head first. Unfortunately, the process isn’t quite as simple as putting a “For Sale” sign up and waiting for the offers to pour in. There are many things that must first be considered, from setting the right price to finding the right buyer. In this blog post, we will outline the steps involved in selling a house in Ireland and give you some tips on how to make the process as smooth as possible. We will also provide some tips on how to find the right professionals to aid in the transaction, as well as share some information on buying and selling a house at the same time, so that you have a fuller understanding of the Irish real estate market!

Selling a house in Ireland

Auction vs Private Treaty Sale

There are two ways to sell a house – by private treaty or by auction. A sale by private treaty is the type of property sale most of us would be familiar with. This is where the seller puts their house on the market and, usually via an auctioneer or estate agent, invites offers for the property. Sales by auction are where a vendor will list their house for sale in a specific auction. The vendor will set a reserve price for the property – the minimum amount they would be willing to accept for the property. From here, buyers at the auction will be able to openly bid on the property, with the house being sold to the individual with the highest offer. In contrast to a private treaty sale, buyers at an auction are expected to sign contracts of purchase then and there on the day of the auction.

A professional auctioneer or other expert in the area can advise you on how to sell your particular house. The best method depends on a number of factors including the type of house, the state of the property market, and the area, so it is best to consult an expert in the area for the best option for you. It is essential that you notify your solicitor of your plans to sell the house so that he can prepare the title documents and the contract.

Finding a Solicitor

One of the first and most important steps in selling your property is finding the right solicitor to aid you in the transaction. There are a few things to look for when choosing a solicitor, such as:

– A solicitor who has experience in selling houses
– A solicitor who is based in the area where you’re selling your house
– A solicitor who has long-standing relationships with other solicitors and professionals in the area who are likely to also be involved in the transaction.

When it comes to selling your home, your solicitor will be responsible for a number of tasks, such as:

– Drafting and negotiating the contract for sale
– Being responsible for your title deeds. If you have a mortgage, this will mean requesting your title deeds from your lender 
– Organising the transfer of ownership
– Calculating and paying the stamp duty on your behalf
– Submitting the Capital Gains Tax return on your behalf (if applicable)

Selling a house in Ireland is a big decision and, as such, there are a lot of things to consider before taking the plunge. With the help of a solicitor, you can be sure that all of the necessary steps are taken care of and that the process runs smoothly. Read our previous blog, Finding the Right Property Solicitor for Your Situation, to find out more about how to choose the right solicitor for you.

Contract for Sale

As soon as the solicitor has received all the necessary documentation from you and the lender, the contract for sale will be drafted. The solicitor leaves the purchaser and purchase price blank when preparing contracts for an auction sale until after the auction is over and the buyer is known. Prior to the auction, prospective bidders will want to review the title documents. If the sale is by private treaty the contract will contain all names including the purchase price. For private treaty sales, the contract for sale is not drawn up until after an offer has been accepted.

Setting the Right Price

A crucial step in selling a house in Ireland is to set the right price. For a private treaty sale, this is the asking price – a price set by the vendor as an indicator of what they expect to receive for the purchase. In an auction, this is the reserve price.

Pricing your home too high will result in it sitting on the market for a long time without any offers, while pricing it too low will mean that you’ll lose money on the sale. It’s important to find a happy medium, and the best way to do this is to consult with a local real estate agent. They will have a good understanding of the local market and can help you to set a competitive price for your home.

Hiring a Real-Estate Agent

While you can opt to sell your house privately, the vast majority of sales are done with the help of a real estate agent. An experienced real estate agent will be able to take care of many of the more time-consuming aspects of selling your home. They will value your property, photograph your home to ensure it’s looking its best, advertise and market your house for you and take care of any viewings. They will also coordinate the completion of the sale with your solicitor to ensure there are no legal loose ends.

One important thing to note before working with an estate agent is to ensure that they are registered with the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA). All estate agents in Ireland must be registered with the PRSA. You can check this by searching their name on the PSRA website.

The final step in selling a house in Ireland is to complete the sale. This involves signing a contract with the buyer and transferring ownership of the property. Once the sale is complete, you’ll be able to collect your money and move on to your next home!

Buying and selling at the same time

The juggling of both buying and selling a house can be quite challenging if you want them to happen simultaneously. If you intend on completing such a transaction, it is important to work with a solicitor who has experience in handling such matters. It is possible to sign a contract for the purchase of your new house contingent on the sale of your old house going through. It is not necessary for either of these to go through at exactly the same time as there are many things that can go wrong.

Up until recently, it was possible to obtain bridging finance from a lending institution to cover the time period between the purchase of your new house and the sale of your previous house. However, such lending options are no longer available in Ireland.

Handling a transaction of this nature can be quite complex and complicated but working with an experienced firm, such as Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors, will ensure the process is carried out as hassle-free as possible.

Taxes involved in Selling a House

If you’re selling a house in Ireland, it’s important to be aware of the various taxes and fees that you’ll need to pay. The most common of these is stamp duty, which is a tax that is payable on all property transactions. The amount of stamp duty you’ll need to pay will depend on the value of your home as per the final sale price.

If you sell a house that is not your primary residence, you must pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on this sale. Generally, capital gains taxes do not apply to properties that are your primary residence. The general amount for CGT is 33% the sale price, however, the amount you will have to pay to the Revenue Commissioners can vary and you should speak to your solicitor to be advised upon the exact amount owed. This amount will vary according to the value of the property.

Other costs involved in selling your home include your real estate agent’s fee and your solicitor fees.

Sale Agreed v Sold

It’s important to understand the difference between ‘Sale Agreed’ and ‘Sold’. Sale agreed means that an offer has been made on your property and accepted by you, but the sale is not yet complete. Sale agreed is not legally binding and both you as the seller and the buyer may still pull out of the sale with no legal ramifications. Until the contracts are signed and the money has exchanged hands, the deal is not yet done.

In order for a sale to be complete, a contract for sale must be drawn up by the seller’s solicitor and signed by both parties and the agreed purchase price must be paid. Once this has happened, the property is officially sold.

The contract for sale will detail a number of important things, such as:

– The names of the buyer and seller
– The address of the property being sold
– A description of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms
– The agreed purchase price
– The date on which the sale will be completed. This is known as the ‘closing date’.
– Any special conditions that have been agreed, such as the buyer being given a certain amount of time to arrange a mortgage.

It’s important to note that, once the contract for sale has been signed,  both parties are legally bound to go ahead with the sale. If the buyer pulls out of the sale, the vendor can forfeit  the deposit paid andmay also seek additional compensation for proven losses. Similarly, if the seller decides not to sell they may face legal action for losses incurred by the purchaser.

Conclusion

Selling a house in Ireland can be a daunting task, but with the help of a professional and some knowledge of the process, it can be a relatively smooth experience. Be sure to consult with both an auctioneer and solicitor to ensure that you are getting the best possible service. And don’t forget to factor in the various taxes and fees that you’ll need to pay. With a little preparation, selling your home in Ireland can be a breeze!

Please get in touch with us at Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors if you have any questions.

Buying property in Ireland: What you need to know

Buying property in Ireland: What you need to know

Buying property in Ireland: What you need to know

Are you thinking of buying a property in Ireland? If so, wrapping your head around the process involved is integral to ensuring the transaction  goes smoothly. For many people, buying a home or a new property will be one of the biggest financial decisions of their life. By informing yourself of all the need to know information before you embark on this journey, you put yourself in a position to make the transaction as pain free as possible. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the key things you need to know when buying property in Ireland. We will cover the importance of getting a property evaluated, the difference between “sale agreed” and “sold”, the different title situations that can arise, as well as some of the legal aspects involved in purchasing property. So, whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced investor, read on for more information!

Buying property in Ireland

If you’re thinking of buying property in Ireland, the first thing you need to do is figure out what your budget is so you can determine – (1) how much of a deposit you can afford, and, (2 ) your ability to afford the monthly mortgage repayments. This involves budgeting for all aspects of buying and owning a property such as mortgage costs, solicitor’s fees, insurance etc.

The amount you can borrow as a mortgage loan and how much you need to put down as a deposit is regulated by Central Bank lending limits. Currently in Ireland, the minimum amount you must put down as a deposit in order to receive a mortgage is 10% of the total price of the property you are looking to purchase. It’s important to get a mortgage pre-approval before you start looking at properties so that you know exactly how much you can spend.

Another important step in the process is to employ the help of an experienced and qualified conveyancing solicitor – a solicitor who specialises in the purchase and sale of property. There are many complicated legal processes and documentation involved in the purchase of any property – some of which will be discussed later – which can be very hard to navigate and understand without the aid of a professional. Working with a solicitor you trust will ensure the transaction is road mapped and carried out in as smoothly a manner as possible.

Surveying the property

The next step is to find a property that you like and that meets your needs and budget. Once you have found a property, it is important to get it evaluated by a professional before proceeding any further. While there are certain things that a seller must inform you on before a sale can be closed, there is no onus on the seller, their auctioneer or their solicitor to inform you of every aspect and detail of the property. There can be hidden problems with the property that you may not be aware of and an evaluation will help to identify any of these potential pitfalls.

Additionally, if you are still at the price negotiation stage, getting a property evaluated can give you an idea of what the property is actually worth. Going into any negotiation as informed as possible is always key to getting the best bang for your buck.

Any potential problems with the property, such as structural issues, title issues or dampness may be discovered. Once you have the evaluation, you can start negotiations with the seller, taking the findings of the survey into account when submitting your offer. You may also choose not to make an offer at this point.

Sale Agreed vs. Legal Sale

When you make an offer on a property and your offer is accepted, this is called a ‘sale agreed’ and is not legally binding. There is an agreement in principle to go through with the sale but either party can still back out at this point. To make it legal, you need to get to contract signing. When this is achieved both the buyer and the seller are legally bound to go through with the sale when they agree on the sale price of the property and both parties have signed the contract. The contract for sale will have been signed at this point with a deposit paid by the buyer. You can instruct your solicitor to start the legal process. The solicitor will investigate the title, planning , property taxes, local authority issues  and other documents to make sure that everything is in order before proceeding with the sale. If you are borrowing your solicitor will be checking in with your lender and dealing with their requirements.  They will also liaise with the seller’s solicitor to ensure that everything is going smoothly and all timelines are met. Once all the paperwork has been finalised, you will be ready to sign the contract and complete the purchase!

Title Situations

Something to be aware of when buying a home are the potential title situations that could exist regarding the property you are looking to purchase. In property law, the “title” refers to all of the property rights that belong to a proprietor of a specific property. Before purchasing a property, it is incredibly important to understand who actually owns the property and whether there are any outstanding debts or other rights on it.

This is another reason why it is so important to work with a solicitor when purchasing property. Your solicitor can complete checks regarding the title of your deserved property and advise you on anything of note. The language used in titles and deeds can often be very complicated and even archaic. Having an experienced solicitor who can explain these situations in layman’s terms can be invaluable.

If you’re buying a property with a mortgage, your lender will also do a search to make sure there are no problems with the title. There are two main types of title for properties in Ireland – freehold and leasehold. Freehold means that you own the property outright and are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the property. Leasehold means that you have a long-term lease on the property, typically for a period of 99 years, and are responsible for the upkeep of the property during that time. Additionally, generally speaking, with freehold possession you are said to own the building and land upon which the property is built, whereas with leasehold, you are only said to own the building. The type of title will be one of the factors you need to consider when purchasing a property.

Planning Permission

When purchasing a home, it is incredibly important to ensure that there are no planning issues with the property. The best way to do this is by working with an experienced conveyancing solicitor who knows what to look for.

There are many things that solicitors would refer to as planning issues. Examples would be things like homes being built with additional buildings such as garages that never received planning permission, extension being built on a property that never received planning permission, velux windows being installed in the front of a house that never received planning permission, attic conversions that are being used habitually with no planning permission received.

If issues such as these go undiscovered prior to purchase, they can become incredibly costly and can lead to unwanted stress, hassle and even litigation. Once you become the owner of a property, all pre-existing planning issues become your liability and your responsibility to rectify. If it is subsequently discovered that planning permission was required for a specific build on a property but was not requested or granted, the planning authority may require the works to be reversed at the expense of the current owner.

Contract for sale

Once you have a contract for sale, there are several important things to do before completion such as getting buildings insurance, arranging your mortgage finance if you haven’t already done so and booking a surveyor to assess the value of the property. You will also need to provide proof of identity and address to your solicitor as well as any other required documentation. Completion usually takes place four to six weeks after signing the contract for sale. Once everything has been finalised, you will be ready to move into your new home!

Bridging Funds

If you are planning to sell your home to buy another one, you can no longer take out what was known as a ‘bridging loan’ which was a sum of money used to cover the gap between two transactions on a short-term basis. You must have the funds readily available to purchase a new property. This may mean that you must sell your home first and then rent for a period until you have the necessary funds to buy another property. Dealing with the simultaneous sale and purchase of properties at the same time can be very stressful. Working with a solicitor with years of experience in these transactions, such as Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors, can make a difficult and complex transaction much easier.

Conclusion

There are many things to bear in mind when buying property in Ireland but, if you do your research and ensure you are well informed, it can be a relatively smooth process. Seeking advice and working with experienced legal professionals, such as Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors, will be paramount to ensuring a successful transaction.

We hope you found this blog post informative. If you have any questions or would like to know more about buying property in Ireland, please get in touch now via our contact page.

Thank you for reading!

Enduring Power of Attorney: Your Questions Answered

Finding the Right Solicitor to Make Your Will

Finding the Right Solicitor to Make Your Will.

Making a will can be a complex legal process. There are many varying steps that require a level of detail that may lead to complications or misunderstandings. Therefore, finding the correct solicitor to develop your will can be a crucial choice – ensuring that your loved ones stay out of court, avoid dispute, and so on. Making a will is not required by law in Ireland, but it is an important step in ensuring that your estate is divided amongst your loved ones as you wish. In this blog, we will take a deep dive into the will-making process in Ireland and how matching the right solicitor with the right circumstances can prevent future headaches further down the road.

 

Before we begin this blog, it is important to have an understanding of some legal definitions when it comes to will-making/probate law, as they will crop up throughout.

Estate – Simply, the possessions that you own and/or intend to divide among your chosen beneficiaries.

Beneficiaries – The recipients of your estate. 

Testator – The person who writes the will i.e the person with the capacity to make the will.

Intestate – If you pass away without leaving a will, you are said to have died ”intestate”.

Witness – The people or persons chosen to oversee the signing of the will and guarantee its validity.

Executor – The person entrusted to carry out the wishes of the will maker upon his or her passing.

 

When it comes to making a will in Ireland, there are many things to consider. There are also a certain number of legal requirements that must be met. You must be over the age of 18 and of sound mind to make a will. The will must also be officially laid out in writing, with your confirmed signature and the signature of two witnesses, present at the will’s completion.

Before we begin this blog, it is important to have an understanding of some legal definitions when it comes to will-making/probate law, as they will crop up throughout.

Factors to consider when deciding to make a Will

If you die without having made a will, you are said to have died intestate and your estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy. This may not be in line with your wishes and can cause disharmony and disputes among your loved ones.

One very important thing to consider when drafting a will is who you would like to appoint as Executor/s of your will. The Executor is the person who will be responsible for administering your estate in accordance with the terms of your will. This can be a daunting task and you should consider appointing someone you trust implicitly to carry out your final wishes.

You must also be aware of the potential for inheritance tax in Ireland – known as Gift and Inheritance Tax (Capital Acquisition Tax). This is a tax that is payable on the value of your estate above a certain threshold. The rate of inheritance tax is currently 33% but there are some reliefs and exemptions which can reduce this liability. Your will can be drafted with the impact of inheritance tax in mind. This is why it is incredibly important to employ the expertise of a solicitor when drafting your will. A good probate solicitor will be able to navigate the legal requirements to pay inheritance tax to ensure all relevant taxes are paid, while also ensuring your loved ones receive the appropriate amount of your estate.

Another thing to note, your assets are not the only thing to be considered when you are drafting your will. If you are someone with young children or dependents, another very important consideration when making your will is guardianship – who will care for your children if the unthinkable happens. You can appoint a guardian in your will to ensure that your children are cared for in the event of your passing.

What Should be the Contents of My Will?

A defined format for a will does not exist. According to Irish Probate Law, the will does not have to follow any particular order, but it must include the name and address of the testator, a revocation of any previous will that may have been produced, a named and appointed ”executor” along with their address. It is also advisable to list any assets and debts that the will maker has at the time of writing the will. This can be extremely helpful for the Executor as it gives them a starting point when it comes to distributing the estate.

Once these basic requirements have been met, you are free to include anything else in your will that you see fit. It is important to note that any Will made in Ireland must be signed by the testator and two independent witnesses in the presence of each other. The will must also be dated.

Ensuring that your will is drafted with the aid of a solicitor is imperative to avoid the creation of “DIY wills”, something which the courts in Ireland have had to contend with. The main reason for the existence of DIY wills is that people often try to avoid the perceived hassle and expense of employing a probate solicitor. However, the time, energy and cost of dealing with probate disputes and litigation off the back of an improperly prepared will, will almost certainly outweigh any initial expense.

Changing your Will in the Event of a Change of Circumstances

Once a will has been written, it does not mean it has to be set in stone.  If there are any developments in your personal circumstances, it is important to review your will and make any necessary changes.

If you wish to implement these changes, the testator can add a separate document, referred to as a codicil.  A Codicil is simply an amendment to an existing will and must be signed and witnessed in the same way as the original will. It is advisable to have your will reviewed by a solicitor every few years, or sooner if there are any major changes in your life such as marriage, divorce, birth of children etc.

However, if the circumstances have changed drastically, it might be more efficient to revoke the will entirely. To do this, you must destroy, burn or tear the will and all copies of it. From here, you should work with your solicitor to draft a new will to reflect your new wishes and change in circumstances.

The Role of the Solicitor in Making a Will

While it is possible to write your own will, it is highly advisable for one to employ the services of a highly qualified probate solicitor to write it for you, such as what we have on offer here at Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors. The role of the solicitor in this process can be dictated by you. You may wish for the solicitor to simply draft the will in accordance with your wishes or you may want the solicitor to take a more active role and advise you on tax planning, asset protection, the creation of a trust or other matters relating to your estate.

It is also worth noting that only a solicitor can certify a will for safekeeping by the Probate Office. This is important as, if you were to die without a will or with an invalid will, your estate would be distributed in accordance with the rules of intestacy which may not be in line with your wishes.

There is no set cost in the will-writing process, as the amount you pay will be dictated by the role you want your solicitor to take and the complexity of your estate.

At Kevin O’Higgins solicitors, we understand that each person’s circumstances are unique and we tailor our service to suit your individual needs.

Matching my Circumstances with the Right Solicitor

When looking for a solicitor to assist in the will-making process, it is important that you find somebody who you are comfortable with and who you feel confident will act in your best interests. You should also ensure that the solicitor has the relevant expertise and experience in Irish will-writing and Probate Law.

Once you have found a solicitor that you feel meets these criteria, it is important to discuss your individual circumstances with them and ensure that they understand your wishes. This will allow them to provide you, confidentially, with the best possible service and advise you on the most efficient way to distribute your estate.

 

Conclusion

At Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors, we pride ourselves on providing a personal and professional service to each of our clients. We take the time to get to know you and your circumstances so that we can provide you with the best possible advice.

If you would like more information on will-writing or any other probate law matters, please do not hesitate to contact Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors today.

Finding the Right Property Solicitor for Your Situation

Finding the Right Property Solicitor for Your Situation

Whenever you are looking at buying or selling a property in Ireland, it is important to have the right solicitor for your specific situation at your side. There are many things that go into a property transaction, and having a great solicitor can make the whole process much, much easier. Property law in Ireland can be complex and there are many things that need to be considered when making such an important transaction. You need a solicitor who has experience in this area and who can guide you through the process, ensuring that everything goes as smoothly as possible. In this blog post, we will discuss the various things to consider when looking to find the right property solicitor in Ireland. We will talk about what makes a good solicitor, and what areas of expertise they should have. We will also discuss the financial aspects of buying and selling property in Ireland and give you some tips on things that you should know when making such a large purchase. So whether you are just starting to think about buying a property, or if you are in the final stages of completing a sale, read on for some helpful advice!

So You Need a Property Solicitor:

If you’re reading this blog, odds are you are in the market to hire a property solicitor. There are numerous reasons why an individual might seek the advice or guidance of a conveyancing solicitor – a conveyancing solicitor is simply a solicitor with specific expertise in the buying and selling of property. Maybe you are looking to buy your first home and need some assistance with the paperwork. Maybe you are selling a property and need someone to help finalise the sale. Perhaps you are renting out a property and need some legal advice on how to protect yourself as a landlord. Whatever your specific situation may be, it is important to find a solicitor who can provide you with the guidance and support that you need.

There are some situations where it might be okay to forgo hiring a solicitor. For example, if you are simply renewing a lease on a property that you have been renting for many years, there is no need to hire legal representation. However, if you are buying or selling a property, it is highly recommended that you seek out the services of a property solicitor.

There are many reasons why you might need the assistance of a property solicitor when buying or selling a property in Ireland. First and foremost, a good solicitor will have extensive knowledge of Irish property law. This is incredibly important, as there are many different laws and regulations that govern property transactions in Ireland. A solicitor will be able to advise you on all of the different legal aspects of buying or selling a property, ensuring that everything is done correctly and in accordance with the law.

Another reason to hire a solicitor is for their negotiating skills. When it comes to buying or selling a property, there are usually many different parties involved in the transaction, all with their own interests and agendas. A good solicitor will be able to navigate these different interests and help you to reach a favourable outcome for your specific situation.

Finally, a property solicitor can provide valuable advice on the financial aspects of buying or selling a property. They will be able to advise you on the different mortgage products available, as well as any other financial implications that might be relevant to your specific situation.

What Will Your Property Solicitor Do?

Before hiring a property solicitor, it is important to understand the typical tasks that a conveyancing solicitor will be responsible for when you are looking to complete a large property transaction.

First and foremost, your solicitor will be responsible for ensuring that all of the relevant paperwork is completed correctly. This includes things like drawing up a Contract for Sale when selling property, transferring title deeds, and dealing with any other legal documents that might be required in the process. Regarding the transfer of deeds, in Ireland there are two processes for dealing with the transfer of title documents – Registry of Deeds and the Land Registry. Your solicitor must know the difference between these systems and complete the correct checks and balances accordingly.

Your solicitor will also be responsible for liaising with different parties involved in the transaction, such as banks, estate agents, and other solicitors. This is an important role, as it helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that there are no misunderstandings or miscommunications throughout the process.

It is also the responsibility of your conveyancing solicitor to complete local council searches for you when you are buying a property. While a seller is obliged to inform you on specific details relating to the property – for example, property defects – the seller is not legally obliged to inform you on every single aspect of the property. This is why it is important that you find the right property solicitor who will complete all necessary searches into the property to ensure you are fully informed before signing any paperwork.

Finally, your solicitor will be responsible for ensuring that the transaction is completed in a timely manner. This includes things like chasing up any outstanding payments, dealing with any last-minute issues that might arise, and generally keeping the process moving forward.

The Pitfalls of Property Transactions:

The right conveyancing solicitor for you is a solicitor who has the experience and expertise to identify and anticipate all of the potential pitfalls and issues that could arise when completing a property sale or purchase. Employing a solicitor who can successfully navigate through the transaction by preempting and avoiding any negative outcomes is paramount when completing such an important transaction.

While hiring a property solicitor can help to make the process of buying or selling a property much smoother, there are still some potential pitfalls that you need to be aware of.

One of the biggest pitfalls that people can face when buying or selling a property is not understanding the process. This can often lead to people making mistakes or missing important deadlines, which can end up costing them a lot of money in the long run.

Another pitfall to be aware of is not having all of the relevant information before entering into a property transaction. This can often lead to people making decisions based on incomplete or incorrect information, which can again end up costing them a lot of money in the long run. This is particularly important when it comes to the relevance of the legal information a buyer or seller may possess at the time of the transaction. The law in Ireland is constantly evolving and changing and it is important that you choose a solicitor who is learned in the most recent legislation and is constantly updating their expertise and knowledge.

An additional risk to be aware of is the potential for delays. Even if everything is going smoothly, there can still be delays in the completion of a property transaction. This is often due to things like banks taking longer to process mortgages, or problems with the title deeds.

Finally, there is always the risk that something could go wrong and the transaction might not be completed successfully. This could be due to a number of different factors, including one of the parties changing their mind, or a problem with the paperwork. A good property solicitor will do everything in their power to ensure this doesn’t happen. Be it by vetting the other parties and offering sound advice, or understanding every aspect of each contract and the fine print contained within, a good solicitor works to put their client in the best position possible to ensure that the transaction is completed successfully.

While these risks might seem daunting, it is important to remember that they are relatively rare. As long as you take the time to choose a reputable property solicitor and do your due diligence throughout the process, you should be able to complete your transaction without any problems.

Here at Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors, we are experts in all aspects of conveyancing law. With over 40 years of experience under our belt, when it comes to property transactions, there isn’t a pitfall we haven’t already seen and dealt with in the past. Regardless of the obstacles that may be thrown your way, you can rest assured that we’ve got you covered.

Understanding the Transaction’s Magnitude:

When looking for the right property solicitor for your situation, it is important to find someone who understands the magnitude of the transaction at hand. Buying or selling a home is a huge decision, and is one that will have long-lasting implications, especially if you are a first time buyer. You need to be sure that you are working with someone who knows the ins and outs of the process and can guide you through it smoothly.

Similarly, if you are selling your family home, you need to find a solicitor who understands the sentimental value of the property. They should be someone who is sensitive to your situation and can help to make the process as stress-free as possible.

Additionally, it is important that you find a solicitor with the expertise to handle all of the financial aspects of a large property transaction. This includes things like aiding you in your mortgage bid, calculating stamp duty and advising you on the amount of capital gains or other taxes owed when selling a property – note, capital gain tax is only applicable where the property being sold is not your main residence. They should also be able to advise you on the most efficient way to structure the deal in order to minimise your tax liability.

Local Knowledge

Finally, one of the most important qualities to look for when finding a good conveyancing solicitor is local knowledge. Not only will solicitors with good knowledge of the area you are looking to sell/purchase be able to advise you on things like local property prices, but they will also be aware of any potential problems that might arise with the property due to the location.

For example, if you are looking to buy a property in an area that is prone to flooding, a good solicitor will be able to advise you on the best way to protect yourself from this risk. Similarly, if you are looking to buy a property with the intention of developing or building an extension, they will be able to advise you on the likelihood of whether or not planning permission will be approved.

Additionally, by opting to work with a solicitor with a great local reputation and years of experience in the area, you can rely on the relationships they have built over the course of their career to ensure the transaction is completed smoothly. This is particularly relevant where your solicitor is likely to have relationships with the multiple vendors and third parties involved in the transaction – other party’s solicitor, auctioneer, engineer etc.

The name ‘Kevin O’Higgins’ is one that is known the country over in legal circles. Having previously acted as President of the Irish Law Society (2015) and the Dublin Solicitors Bar Association (DSBA) (2009/10), Kevin has developed strong working relationships with a great number of legal and property professionals across Ireland and abroad.

Conclusion

While there are many things to consider when finding a good property solicitor, the most important thing is to find someone you can trust. This is a person who will be handling one of the biggest financial transactions of your life, so it is important that you feel confident in their ability to do so.

If you take the time to consider all of the factors outlined above, you should be able to find a property solicitor who is a good fit for your specific situation. Once you have found someone you are happy with, they will be able to guide you through the process and ensure everything goes smoothly.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a property, get in touch with Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors now.