Why make a Will?
All adults of sound disposing mind can and should make a Will for the following reasons:
- It allows you to provide for the devolution of your property by means of a clear legal document.
- You can choose who will look after your affairs on death and it will not be left to the state to decide on your behalf under the Laws of Intestacy.
- Making a Will allows you to provide for the special needs of family members and provides an opportunity for tax planning.
- The administration of a testate estate is quicker and less expensive than that of an Intestate estate.
What's the Role of your Solicitor in making a Will ?
Any person can make a Will but if the statutory formalities are not complied with, the Will may be deemed invalid and the testators’ wishes as expressed on paper will not be complied with.
The role of a solicitor in drafting a will is to take a structured and considered approach on behalf of the client that is relevant to the predictable circumstances at the time of death and which predicts the needs of the beneficiaries, particularly with regard to beneficiaries with disabilities.
Who can make a Will?
Section 77 of the Succession Act 1965 provides that a will may be made by a person who:
- Has obtained the age of eighteen years or is or has been married, and
- Is of sound disposing mind.
Best Practice & Common errors
- A Will is revoked by marriage but not by divorce so in the event of a divorce testamentary arrangements will have to be reviewed.
- A new Will or codicil will only expressly revoke an earlier Will and codicil if it contains a proper revocation clause.
- If it is the testators intention that the current Will should deal only with the testators property in this jurisdiction, any revocation clause should state clearly that the current Will is only to revoke any previous Wills dealing with the testators property in Ireland. It is vital that a Will made in the Irish jurisdiction would not inadvertently revoke a Will made in a foreign jurisdiction or vice versa.
- Where it is the intention of the testator to destroy his/her Will two elements must be present (a) physical destruction by or in the presence of the testator (b) with the intention of revoking the Will.
- There is a presumption that when a Will, which was last known to be in the possession of the testator, cannot be found after death, the testator destroyed it.
- Wills should be held in a fireproof, waterproof, locked safe in a solicitor’s office.
Instructions to Complete Will