Preparing A Will In Ireland

Finders International deals mainly with the estates of people who have died intestate, so a crucial part of our advice to the general population is to make a will as soon as possible.

Many people think this advice doesn’t apply to them – they aren’t old enough or they don’t think they have enough property, or they assume their spouse/children will inherit anyway, so why bother? But a will is crucial – and even if you do have one, is it up to date?

Your circumstances may change, the value of your assets might change, you might write a book and want to consider who the royalties go to after your death, and a subsequent marriage might revoke an existing will – all considerations need to be taken into account.

You can write a will by yourself (and there are kits you can buy or find online), but if you are particularly wealthy or your family situation is complex or you have special wishes you want carried out, then it’s best to engage a specialist to ensure your exact wishes are carried out after you have passed away.

If you die without leaving a valid will, your property will be divided according to the intestacy provisions of the Succession Act 1965. And that division might not be as you would have expected or wanted.

The costs might put you off – and again the costs of having a will drawn up will depend on the nature of your will and any matters that need special consideration. Your lawyer can let you have an idea of the estimated fees in advance of preparing your will.

Once you have prepared and signed your will, it is a good idea to prepare a personal assets sheet which lists all of your personal information – details of your property, where your important documents are kept (and this would include your will), and a note of all bank, savings and investment accounts.

These days too, people are advised to leave a digital will, i.e. a note of their digital accounts and what they would like done with them after their death, as well as a note of the intellectual property they might own.

Having this information to hand will help your executors carry out your wishes and ensure that nothing is forgotten about – such as money in an investment account.

To instruct an expert on drawing up your will, you’ll need to provide evidence of your identity to comply with Anti-money Laundering Regulations, and this usually comprises photographic evidence such as your passport and a utility bill that gives your address.

You’ll also need a list of your assets and an idea of the value of the property you’ll be bequeathing, although this does not need to be exact, and a notion as to the ownership of property that might be in joint names. You also need to consider who you want to appoint as your executors, and if you have children who are under the age of 18 who should be appointed as trustees who can look after their interests until they come of age.

You should consider what should happen if one or more of your intended beneficiaries dies before you, and you might want to think about the advantages and disadvantages of making a provision for someone in your lifetime instead of leaving that person a gift in your will.

Finders International specialises in dealing with the estates of people who have died without leaving a valid will. To find out more about our services, call us on +353 (0) 1 691 7252 or freephone 1800 210 210 (Ireland only), or email: contact@findersinternational.ie