Seven in ten people in Ireland do not have a valid Will and over a third of over 55-year-olds have not put their final wishes in writing. Making a Will is on most people’s to-do list, but it is all too often put off until ‘tomorrow’. People find the concept of making a Will very daunting and in practice it is very straightforward.
At Lavelle Partners, we make the process of planning your estate and making a will as easy as possible. Our team of highly experienced and approachable Solicitors provide dependable and reliable wealth protection advice and always take the time to discover your unique needs; creating solutions tailored to the requirements of you and your family.
Why do I need a Will?
While for many, a Will is seen as an optional obligation, in practice it is truly an important document which clarifies matters relating to your estate and inheritance upon death and is an invaluable tool in spreading your wealth. It allows you to retain control over how your assets are divided after your death and provides certainty to your loved ones as to your final wishes.
Wills can incorporate trusts and are particularly useful where you have minor children. Guardians can be appointed to look after minor children. A trust can further protect your children from inheriting one lump sum at a young age and trustees can be placed in charge of the trust to ensure your children are provided for adequately without giving them more money than they may be equipped to manage at a young age. There are many different trust structures that can be put in place to ensure your situation is provided for.
Having a valid Will ensures those you leave behind are not left with doubts regarding your final wishes. It ensures your children are cared for by someone you know and trust, and those you love will benefit from your wealth.
What happens if I die without a Will?
If you do not make a Will, you will die intestate. This means your estate will be distributed in accordance with the law and these rules are set out in the Succession Act 1965. This can lead to added stress for your family at an already difficult time and result in your estate not being distributed as you may have wished. It may mean that your wealth is not spread in order to avail of the maximum tax free thresholds and particular people are not adequately provided for.
Our team are excellent listeners and will offer suggestions and ask you the right questions to ensure your wishes are clearly reflected in your Will. And when the time comes for your Executor to apply for Probate, we will ensure the process runs smoothly.
What constitutes a valid Will?
For a Will to be valid in Ireland it must:
- be in writing
- signed by the Testator (or by someone in their presence and under their direction), and;
- signed by two witnesses in the presence of the Testator
In addition, the Testator must be:
- over 18 years (or be or have been married)
- of sound mind
- free from undue influence
The best way to ensure your Will is valid is to sit down with one of our team and discuss your situation. They will ask questions which you may not think of yourself, such as who you wish to appoint as guardians for your children and whether you wish to set up a Trust for their financial provision.
Why choose Lavelle Partners to assist you with estate planning, Wills and Probate matters?
- When it comes to Wills and Probate, we are sensitive and compassionate in all our dealings.
- Because we have experience in dealing with a range of diverse situations in our many years of legal practice, we know the right questions to ask to ensure your Will covers all the areas it should to fully reflect your wishes. For example, we will not forget to ask about items of sentimental value.
- Jennifer Morrow is currently studying for her Diploma in Trust and Estate Planning (Law Society and STEP) 2004.
For further information regarding estate planning and Wills in Ireland, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800.