Making a Will, Estate & Succession Planning
Making a will and planning for the care of your loved ones after you are gone is one of the most important things you can do for your family and the people you care about. It is vital to ensuring your assets are distributed in the way you wish after you die.
Making a Will in Ireland
Making a will in Ireland is a relatively straightforward process, but one that must be done correctly. Making a will allows you to control the distribution of your estate after you are gone. Without a will, your estate is distributed under the rules of intestacy which may not be as you would have wished. Where a person dies with a will (testate) it is much cheaper and quicker to administer their estate.
Who can make a will?
Anybody can make a will once they are over the age of 18 and of sound mind.
When should I make a will?
We advise all clients to make a will. It is particularly important for people with young children or with family members with special needs. Even if you don’t have significant wealth, a will allows a person to choose who is going to handle their affairs after death. Wills should be reviewed regularly especially when your family or financial circumstances change.
How can I make a will in Ireland?
Padhraic Harris & Co. Solicitors can advise you on the exact steps to making a valid will that will ensure your loved ones are properly looked after once you are gone.
Why do I need a solicitor?
Although any person can prepare a will, it is strongly advised to have such an important document professionally drafted. The biggest risk in drafting a ‘homemade will’ is that the whole document will be deemed invalid, especially if statutory formalities are not complied with e.g. having a beneficiary witness the will. If this happens you will be deemed to have died without leaving a will (intestate).
A solicitor can make sure your will reflects your true intentions.
Furthermore, having a solicitor draft your will, allows you to get advice on the tax implications of what you are considering, ensure your estate is administered quickly, and without incurring unnecessary costs and all statutory formalities are complied with.
What are the requirements of a valid will?
To be valid a will must be made;
- by someone over 18 and of sound mind,
- be in writing,
- be signed at the foot by the testator (person making the will), and,
- be witnessed by two or more witnesses (gifts left to witnesses are not valid).
Have you considered what would happen if you were to die without having made a Will or made plans for the care of your loved ones?
Laws of Intestacy – What happens when no will is made?
If a person dies without a will or with an invalid will their assets are distributed according to the rules of intestacy set out in the Succession Act.
When planning for the future you may also be considering a plan for your family-run business or farm. Without a succession plan, your successors could end up paying large CAT bills or clawback at a later date. For this reason, it is important to consider tax reliefs such as Agricultural Relief, Business Relief, and Dwelling House Relief when drafting a will. Talk to our solicitors to discuss your individual situation.
Consultations are available at our Galway City office or can be arranged to suit you in Oughterard.