The Importance of Wills
A will is an important document that every person should complete for a number of reasons . It is a written document setting out your wishes for your property and personal effects after you die. It allows you to properly provide for the people you care about and detail the gifts to organisations or institutions that `matter to you. It can also include your instructions as to your burial arrangements.
A will is the only way of truly protecting the interests of those whom you leave behind, especially when those people are minors below the age of eighteen. It removes any uncertainty as what your wishes are. Where children and minors are involved a will details the manner in which their gifts and benefits are maintained and managed until each child reaches the required age. You can also appoint a testamentary guardian to a child. This will be someone you trust who will be responsible in part or in full for the welfare of any child or children under the age 18.
When you die, your property must be dealt with. This will require the extraction of a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration in the Irish Probate Registry. Only once Probate has been extracted can bills be paid and your property distributed. Making a will simplifies this with minimum delay. Where no will exists the Irish law concerning intestate estates applies, and your property is divided according to the rules set down for distribution. In practical terms this will mean that people outside your family will not receive any benefit or you estate is not divided in the manner you would like.
The drafting of wills involves complex legal rules and should be done by a solicitor. It is also important to be fully advised as to the Irish law on estates and succession when preparing your will. Wills not properly drafted invariably fail due to one of the rules not being correctly adhered to This may result in costly Court Action to try and "prove" the will so that it may be admitted to the Irish Probate Office.
You may change or alter your will at any time. We would always recommend that you prepare a will based on the circumstances in your life as they exist at that time. If and when those circumstances change (e.g. the birth a child), you should change your will to take account of these new circumstances. Every person should consider updating their will every few years to account for changes in their lives or in the lives of those around them.
The importance of wills cannot be understated and it is imperative that the documents you prepare give your beneficiaries the maximum protection of law and the optimum tax advantage. A proper will gives proper peace of mind.
We fully advise, draft and prepare wills for execution in accordance with up to date best practice. We explain the rules of Irish succession law as they apply to wills and estate. We can advise on surviving husband/wife/partner rights, making "adequate provision" for your children and the role of executors, trustees and guardians. If you would like to prepare your will or have any queries in relation to a deceased's estate in Ireland, please feel free to contact us.