Private client law in Ireland is the area of law that deals with legal matters concerning individuals and their personal affairs, particularly concerning wealth management, estate planning, and succession. It covers various legal aspects such as wills, trusts, taxation, property, and family law. Here are some key areas within private client law in Ireland:
1. Wills and Probate: Private client lawyers assist individuals in drafting and executing wills, ensuring that their clients' wishes regarding the distribution of their assets are carried out after their death. They also handle probate matters, which involve the legal process of administering and distributing an individual's estate after their death.
2. Estate Planning: Private client lawyers advise clients on effective estate planning strategies to protect and manage their assets during their lifetime and for the benefit of future generations. This may involve creating trusts, establishing charitable foundations, and structuring family-owned businesses.
3. Trusts: Private client lawyers assist individuals in creating and managing trusts, which are legal arrangements that hold assets for the benefit of designated beneficiaries. They advise on the selection of appropriate trust structures and help clients understand their rights and obligations as trustees or beneficiaries.
4. Taxation: Private client lawyers provide guidance on tax planning and mitigation strategies to minimize tax liabilities associated with wealth transfer, capital gains, income, and inheritance. They help clients navigate complex tax laws and regulations to ensure compliance while maximizing tax efficiency.
5. Powers of Attorney and Advance Healthcare Directives: Private client lawyers help individuals plan for incapacity by creating powers of attorney and advance healthcare directives. These legal documents grant authority to trusted individuals to make financial and healthcare decisions on behalf of the person if they become unable to do so themselves.
6. Family Law: Private client lawyers handle family law matters such as divorce, separation, child custody, and maintenance. They provide advice on legal rights and obligations related to marital breakdown and work towards achieving fair resolutions for their clients.
Private client law in Ireland is a specialised field that requires a comprehensive understanding of both legal and financial matters. Individuals seeking assistance in these areas often engage private client lawyers to ensure their personal affairs are managed effectively and in accordance with their wishes.
If you require additional information, consulting Dylan Green and associates - solicitors for assistance may be beneficial. You can reach us at 0214708570 or via email at email@example.com.
A trust is a legal device for fiduciary arrangements created to manage property and assets on behalf of another person. This relationship involves:
· a settlor/trustor, who creates the trust and places the assets
· trustee(s) that hold the legal titles but are not benefiting from any interest
· Beneficiaries, concerned by the trust and benefiting from the assets
A trust can be either revocable or irrevocable, depending on whether the grantor can change the terms of the trust. Unless there is a revocation clause in the trust, the trustor loses all rights to the property. Therefore, an irrevocable trust is less flexible.
A trustee has a duty to the terms set out in the trust deed, which they must follow. Likewise, they have a duty of loyalty because they should manage the trust in the interests of the beneficiaries and their interests must not interfere; they cannot gain personally from their role.
Besides, they have the duty to manage the trust efficiently, which is why they must familiarise themselves with the terms of the faith, the assets and liabilities, the circumstances of the beneficiaries and the purpose of the trust. They must ensure that proper decisions are made in a timely manner keeping in mind terms of the faith and in favour of the beneficiaries.
Similarly, the trustees have the duty to act personally, as they should be involved in the decision-making regarding the trust, even if they engage advisers. Also, there is a duty to consider the beneficiaries because the trustees must act impartially. Moreover, a commitment to account is expected, meaning the trustees must maintain records.
Setting up a trust has many benefits, such as protecting wealth, passing the assets to the next generation and tax planning.
There are three main types of trust:
1. Bare trust
The beneficiaries are immediately entitled to be transferred the assets or property, at any time. Apart from holding titles, trustees do not have many active duties to perform. It can be created through a contract signed “in trust” or implied.
Some taxes may arise on the creation of the trust, such as the Capital Gain Tax (CGT), which is mainly dependent on the residence of the trustees. If they are Irish residents, CGT will occur on the gains from land, buildings and minerals in Ireland and on unquoted shares deriving their value or the greater part of their value from such assets.
Likewise, stamp duty could be applicable in some cases, which depends on the assets’ nature. If it is a residential property, the levy will be 1%, but it is 2% for commercial property.
The beneficiaries are usually liable to Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) immediately when the trust is set up. There are three thresholds, and if they are exceeded, a levy of 33% is applied. CAT will arise if the settlor or the beneficiaries are residents or the assets are in Ireland.
2. Discretionary trust
Often used for family estate planning (e.g., testamentary trusts), in this trust, the beneficiaries are not directly receiving the benefits because the assets are not distributed. The trustees have discretion over the trust and decide to apply the income or capital. Generally, the settlor provides a letter of wishes, but it is not a binding document.
Its purposes include granting and protecting assets, whether for young children or future generations (grandchildren), or to provide for a child with a disability or a non-marital partner.
The Discretionary Trust Tax (DTT) comprise of an initial once-off 6% levy based on the value of the assets in the trusts, which is reduced to 3% if the trust was created under a will.
This charge should be paid within four months of the relevant valuation date, which is the latest of the following:
· the property becomes subject to the trust
· the death of the disponer
· when the youngest reaches 21 years of age
Afterwards, an annual 1% fee is applicable on the asset value on the market, which is usually December 31st. But an exemption from DTT is possible if the trust is:
· created for public or charitable purposes only
· superannuation or unit trusts
· providing for the upkeep of a heritage house or garden
· benefiting persons incapable of managing their affairs (due to age, improvidence, physical or mental or legal incapacity)
Electronic Funds Transfer, cheque, or bank draft can pay the DTT. NB: there is a surcharge for late filing.
Other taxes may arise. If the asset’s market value is superior to the acquisition value, then CGT arises, but there is none for the direct cash transfer to the trust. Although Testamentary Trusts, meaning when created by a will, is not liable to CGT.
Besides, CAT does not arise when the trust is established, but it will when the trustees exercise their discretion and they distribute benefits.
Similarly, income tax, which is also determined by the residence of the trustees, could occur. If they are Irish residents, a standard rate of 20% is charged, and a surcharge of 20% is applicable to any accumulated income not distributed within 18 months of the tax year.
3. Fixed trust
Each beneficiary has an entitlement to a specific share of the assets or has interests in the trust. The trustees have little to no discretion in the distribution of the assets because the settlor sets it forth.
The settlor is generally liable to CGT, except if they can be exempted. Stamp duty could arise for the beneficiary and CAT, but relief could be sought.
If it is a simple cash transfer, no stamp duty can be applied, which is the same for when assets are transferred to the beneficiaries accordingly to the trust’ terms.
If the trustees can accumulate the trust’s income, then CAT and income tax will probably arise. Income tax and CGT will occur while the assets are still in trust. If they do not have the power to accumulate, then
A testamentary trust is created through a will since it expresses the last wishes of the settlor, who is also the deceased. In order to be established, the subject of the trust, the beneficiaries and the trustees have to be stipulated. But it is also necessary that the trust is valid.
Although living trusts are not created through will, they are usually in express terms, in the form of a document, such as a written deed or declaration of faith.
The trustees must also submit information about the trust to the Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Trusts (CRBOT) when they are Irish residents or if the trust is administered in Ireland. That is only if the trust is relevant, meaning if it is an express one.
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