Financial security for you and your loved ones
Life is full of twists and turns, some we easily negotiate while others can be extremely difficult to manage and can result in a great deal of stress. Marriage, children, property and business ownership, occupation and health can quite suddenly turn from good to bad, which can result in extreme emotional upheaval as well as financial problems. In difficult situations, while we cannot control how we may feel emotionally, we are able to reduce the stress around finances by following sound professional advice.
Associate Solicitor at Terrace End Law, Mary Spillane’s area of expertise is relationship property. Mary has worked at Terrace End Law for six years and says relationship property is not only concerned with people who are separating, it is also about planning ahead and making financial arrangements that will provide security for your family and loved ones in the future.
Relationship property law often involves trusts and wills as well as issues around separation. Having a secure financial plan will ensure that all parties have clarity about their financial position. This is especially important with the increasing number of blended family relationships.
Mary says that more people are moving into new relationships with a combination of hers, his as well as, possibly, their own children, plus many new partners will have their own, separate property and/or business interests. If the worst were to suddenly happen, both partners need to have the knowledge and confidence that either partner will be financially secure as well as being able to provide for any children of their relationship, as well as any children of an earlier relationship.
Where a contracting out agreement has been agreed to by both parties it will over-ride the law of equal sharing which is embodied in the Property (Relationships) Act. However, if an agreement does not comply with the formalities required by the law, these are at risk of being over-turned by the court if one party challenges its validity.
Mary stresses: ‘‘To avoid uncertainty in the future, an agreement must be prepared and witnessed by a lawyer who is conversant in the law of relationship property.’’
With any contracting out agreement, it will need to be reviewed periodically, as life’s circumstances will inevitably change, especially as we get older. Mary points out that by regularly reviewing the agreement, all parties can feel secure about their financial future.
Any sudden change is stressful and marital separation can be an extremely difficult period for people. Mary accepts that a big part of her role is reassuring people in this situation that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. ‘‘The whole process can take a great deal of hard work as it’s not just about the money in the bank; it’s a complete upheaval to the tapestry of a client’s life. When a relationship breaks down emotions can run high and where property and/or debt are involved then both partners should consult with a lawyer to gain advice and an understanding of what the financial implications will be.’’
For more information on relationship property agreements, contact Mary at Terrace End Law on (06) 3555303 or call into their office at 326 Broadway Avenue.
Terrace End Associate Solicitor Mary Spillane is an expert in relationship property.