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A Guide to Making a Will

Making a Will greatly assists others when you pass away and ensures that your wishes are carried out. It should provide you with peace of mind. With a little planning, you can ensure that your wealth, and the gifts you want to make, reach the right people at the right time.

With our experience and expertise in this area we will do what we can to make sure that you can make practical, straightforward arrangements within ensuring that what you choose to do is legally sound.

Making your Will

The fee for this, covers:

  1. Taking instructions.
  2. Advice on Executors, Trustees and Guardians and the roles the play. Advice on your obligations under the Succession Act 1965 (the law covering estates in Ireland).
  3. Preparing your draft Will.
  4. Going through your draft Will and making any changes that may be necessary.
  5. Preparing your Will in final format.
  6. Proper Execution (signing) of your Will.
  7. Storage of your Will in fireproof safes.
  8. Retaining a copy of your Will and your Will file permanently.

For a Will to be valid there are three elements:

  1. The person making the Will must be 18 years or older
  2. Made out of his/her own free Will
  3. Be of a sound mind

Making a Will involves two appointments:

  • One to give us your instructions
  • One (usually a week later) to sign your Will

What happens if I have no Will

Without a Will:

  • Your assets will pass in accordance to the law, which does not necessarily pass your assets to those whom you consider closest to you.
  • You will not pass any assets to people who are not directly related to you, including step-children, common law spouse and your favourite charities.
  • If you are separated but not divorced, your estranged spouse could still inherit and be responsible for administering your estate.
  • You will have no say in who will look after your children if they are under 18 when you die.
  • You will have no control over the age at which your beneficiaries will inherit.
  • There could be increased cost and delay in administering your estate.
  • If you have a child with special needs or circumstances they may not be properly provided for.

There are two main types of application to be made in order to distribute the Deceased Estate:

  • Grant of Probate – if the Deceased made s Will a Grant of Probate can be applied for at the local Probate Office.
  • Letters of Administration – if the Deceased did not make a Will or made an invalid Will the letters of Administration will need to be applied for by the Deceased’s next of kin.


Probate is a process of administering the deceased estate in accordance with the provisions of their Will. When making a Will a person will have to appoint an Executor to implement their instructions after they have passed away. The Executors are assisted by the solicitor. It would therefore make sense for the solicitor who the Testator used to make the Will to deal with the Probate as he/she will have access to the original Will file in the event of there being any ambiguity in the Will. It is usual that the Solicitor would hold the Title Deeds as well as the original Will.

Married Couples

It is not always necessary to take out a Grant of Probate when the couple only own one home and it is held by them as joint tenants and if all their monies are held in joint accounts. A Grant of Probate will be required if either party has an account in their own name with over €25,000.00 (€23,000.00 for their Credit Union in it). if they have a life policy/ Death in Service/ Pensions Policy where the pay-out exceeds €25,000.00 which should be addressed on the making of the Will.

Your Will tells everyone what should happen to your money possession and property when you die. If you do not make a Will the law decides and this may not be in accordance with your wishes.

Payment of funeral expenses

  1. The Executor can pay and be reimbursed.
  2. The Testator can pre pay for the funeral.
  3. The bank and building society can pay on receipt of a bill from the undertaker if there are sufficient funds in the account.
  4. Payment can be made after the Grant of Probate has issued and funds are released.
  5. They can be paid out of the proceeds of sale of the property if there is no money in the estate.

Advise for choosing your Executor

  1. Children.
  2. Responsible person.
  3. Shouldn’t be too elderly.
  4. Ideally should be resident in Ireland.
  5. Do not feel that you have to choose all your children.

Tax free allowances

  • Spouse – No Tax
  • Children, foster children, adopted children  –  €335,000.00
  • Brother, Sister, Niece, Nephew  –  € 32,500.00
  • Others (inc) unmarried partners  –  € 16,250.00

If you need advice about making your first Will or amending an existing Will, we are here to help.

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