Things to do before end of 2014 – Your Winter Legal Checklist

John A Sinnott Solicitors, Winter

As we’re coming towards the end of the year, the topics below are particularly apt at this time.

  1. Don’t forget the Capital Gains Tax exemption ends on the 31st December 2014, whereby property purchased before 31st December 2014 and kept for 7 years will be exempt from Capital Gains Tax.
  2. Be legally prepared for flood damage.  On a practical level, we obviously prepare as best we can against potential flooding of our homes and businesses.  However, we are sometimes helpless in the face of our Irish weather.  At the outset, contact your insurance broker and understand exactly what type of cover you have.  Failing that, if you have a problem with flooding, with obtaining insurance cover for premises prone to flooding or if you thought you were covered by your insurance policy and you are not, we may be able to help you.
  3. Be extra vigilant about health and safety.  Dark evenings and bad weather unfortunately make for more accidents in the workplace and on farms.  Always follow health and safety procedures within your workplace.  Employers, we can help you with health and safety legislation and help you draw up procedures for your business.  Employees, we can advise you if you have any areas of concern.
  4. Take extra care on the roads.  Again, the winter months can be more hazardous when driving than other times of the year.  Minimise the risk of an accident by staying within speed limits, not using your phone when driving and never drive after drinking alcohol.
  5. Ensure your car has its NCT Certificate.  From early December 2014, cars without an NCT Certificate will be dealt with by the Gardaí on the roadside and attract 3 penalty points and a fine.  As the vast majority of cars are registered in the first few months of the year, the majority of NCTs are also carried out in the first few months of the year, leading to long waiting lists at times.  This year 51% of all testing was done in the first 3 months of the year.  Your car can be tested 90 days in advance of its NCT date without affecting the expiry date of the certificate.  So if it’s due early next year, get it booked in before 31st December to avoid a long wait and the threat of penalty points and a fine.
  6. Make your will.  Every January ‘making a will’ features highly in many peoples lists of New Year’s Resolutions.  The problem is that January is the worst time of year to make changes or introductions in your life because people feel overwhelmed and under pressure to make a change, its counter productive and nothing gets done!  See out 2014 with peace of mind by making your will and ensuring your loved ones are taken care of.

Taking the above points on board could mean avoiding legal action in the future.  If, for whatever reason, any of the above are unavoidable, we are happy to discuss, advise and attempt to resolve your issues with you.