Failing to make a will is a big mistake.
And once you decide to make one you should definitely go to a solicitor to have one drawn up.
You can of course make your own will.
You can pick up some sort of “will pack” in Easons or any good stationery store.
But the chances of it having no legal effect because it is invalid are pretty high. The consequences could be catastrophic with an expensive legal dispute after you have passed away.
It is not worth the risk.
Because if there is a legal dispute both parties costs will almost certainly come from your estate.
The winners therefore will be the dreaded solicitors who you may have sought to avoid in the first instance.
There are many good reasons to make will. And there are really no reasons why you should not make one.
The law of probate is the law of wills. And even if you never make a will the likelihood is that some day you will be appointed executor of a loved one’s will.
When a person dies having not made a will an intestacy situation arises. What you do to administer the estate of an intestate deceased is set out on this site elsewhere.
And if you read who is entitled to extract the grant of administration and “who gets what” you will see why you should make a will.
Will trusts are also covered on this site.
A trust is basically a fiduciary obligation. But setting up a trust can be a very effective way of protecting your assets…and engaging in some smart tax planning.
One of the uses to which I have seen a trust put is as follows: a person who has a child/ren wishes to provide for the child. But the child has run up massive debts and is facing some form of debt arrangement or bankruptcy.
In this case, if the person who owns the asset wills the asset to the child it will be open season for the bankruptcy assignee or creditors of the child or both to get their hands on the asset.
A way to prevent this is to create a will trust which puts the asset beyond the reach of the child and her creditors until a time of her choosing.
This might well be after being discharged as a bankrupt or having exited one of the personal insolvency arrangements.
The Succession Act, 1965 is the primary piece of legislation in Ireland in relation to wills. It protects spouses and children of deceased persons and make provision for a “legal right share”.
This clearly flows into the arena of family law and the entitlement of a spouse in a separation or divorce.
As you can see the whole are of wills, trusts, probate and administration of estates flows into issues of
- Family law.
Don’t short change yourself or your loved ones: make a will.