Blog – David McCarthy on Galway Talks – 11.04.2013

Question:  I went guarantor some years ago for my son’s mortgage.  He is now substantially in arrears and I am concerned from recent press reports, that they will pursue me for the amount owing.  I am in my late 60’s and very concerned of what could happen.

Answer:  Unfortunately it is quite apparent at the moment that some banks are following up on letters of guarantee in relation to situations such as yours.  It is essential that you engage with the lender along with your son, regarding the difficulties that he is experiencing.  In a situation such as yours, it is important not to ignore any correspondence you receive from the lender.  It may be possible to come to some sort of arrangement that suits your circumstances.

Question:  What guide should I use to value my house for fire insurance?

Answer:  The insurance companies use The Society of Chartered Surveyors rebuilding cost guide, for this purpose.  If you access their website at, you will find the rebuilding cost per square foot for the area of the country you reside in and this will allow you to calculate (utilizing the square footage of your home), the correct value.

It is important not to undervalue your house as, it can result in the value of a claim being reduced accordingly.

Issue:  High level of people without Wills.

Comment:  When a client visits me initially, as part of an overall review, I usually ask whether or not they have a will made.  It never ceases to surprise me the number of people who have not made a Will and this is reflected throughout all age groups.

Making a Will is a very cost affective procedure and is extremely important in assisting your family, in the event of your death, to deal with your estate.