Half Of Irish People Not Prepared For Death

Did you know that only three in ten Irish people have drafted a will and 50 percent have made no preparations for death?

That’s the recent finding in research quoted by MyLegacy in support of Best Will Week that showed that only one in ten have actually drafted a will, and that only 50 percent of people have engaged in the practicalities of preparing for their own death – such as discussing their wishes with their family, or making a will.

Best Will Week took place earlier this month (2-6 November), an annual campaign aimed at encouraging people in Ireland to make a will and to consider leaving a gift to charities in their will.

Participating solicitors in the event guide people through the process of making a will, taking into account their wishes for their loved ones, how to protect their assets, reduce inheritance tax and consider the impact that residential care fees might have on an estate, as well as ensuring precious items go to the people who you might want to receive them.

During the week, hundreds of solicitors in Ireland met with new and existing clients for initial will consultations.

The preparation of a will is most popular with the over-55 demographic, with just over half of them (57 percent) having already drafted their will, but younger people are far less willing to prepare a will, with two-thirds of those aged from 25 to 34 having not yet done anything to prepare for their death, including the drafting of a will.

And one one-fifth of people aged 35-44 have prepared a will, with the number of Irish people bequeathing a gift to charity in their will is also pretty low (12 percent), although 18-24 year olds have the highest intentions of leaving money to charity.

If people die suddenly without a valid will in place, they risk their property and savings reverting to the State if no beneficiaries can be found, according to the intestacy rules.

Susan O’Dwyer, chair of MyLegacy.ie and CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, said: “The number of Irish people who bequeath a gift to charity or indeed don’t prepare a will is quite low. Leaving a gift to charity is a very meaningful experience that allows you to support a charity or cause you care about after you are gone.

“MyLegacy would encourage everyone to [make an] an appointment to visit your local solicitor for a will consultation to discuss your wishes and your lasting legacy.”