Key Post Things to consider when making a will

Discussion in 'Wills, inheritances and gifts' started by pjq, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. pjq

    pjq Frequent Poster

    Extracted from another long thread and edited for clarity - Brendan

    It is better to make a will yourself than to die without making a will.
    However, best of all is to get your solicitor to make a will for you.

    1. Call your solicitor and discuss fees before making appointment ?? ( will he charge more if he is not executor ) , what is a reasonable fee ( 1 wife ,2 kids , 1 house , 3 investments 0 foreign assets )?
    2. Don't make the $olicitor your executor ( unless there are unusual tax considerations ?) , as he is then free to set his own fees and time table .
    3. Should you do a enduring power of attorney that can be actioned only if you become mentally incapacitated ie. ( an 80 yr old neighbour was recently quoted €900-€1000- for this .... told me he was not cracked yet).
    4. do your home work , list major assets , consider who dies first husband/wife , should both sit with solicitor ( or separate meetings so that love children and girlfriends remain discreetly out of sight until you are not around ) ?
  2. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder

    Just Do It

    Many people put off making a will or making an appointment with a solicitor.

    It is better to have a poorly drafted will than to have no will at all.

    After reading this thread

    write out your will
    get the witnesses to sign it
    Then make an appointment with a solicitor to do it properly

    If there is any delay in meeting the solicitor or in the solicitor doing the drafting, at least you will have a will in place.
  3. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder

    Template for a simple will - note I am not a lawyer

    This is the last will and testament of John Murphy

    of 14 New Road, New Town, County Dublin

    made on 1 January 2010

    I revoke all former wills and codicils made by me and state that this is my last will.

    I appoint my sone Mark Murphy as my executor.

    I make the following specific bequests:
    To The Irish Wildlife Trust, of Finglas, Dublin: €10,000
    To the Trustees of the National Gallery of Ireland: €10,000

    I give, devise and bequeath the rest of my estate to be divided equally between my four children
    Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

    Signed by the testator:
    Full name: John Anthony Murphy

    in our presence and then by us in his presence

    Full name:


    Full name:

  4. Welfarite

    Welfarite Frequent Poster

    Re: how to write a will?

    For a will to be legally valid, the following rules apply:

    " The will must be in writing
    " You must be over 18 or have been or be married
    " You must be of sound mind
    " You must sign or mark the will or acknowledge the signature or mark in the presence of two witnesses.
    " Your two witnesses must sign the will in your presence
    " Your two witnesses cannot be people who will gain from your will and they must be present with you at the same time for their attestation to be valid
    " Your two witnesses must sign the will in your presence
    " Your witnesses must see you sign the will but they do not have to see what is written in it.
    " The signature or mark must be at the end of the will.

    These are legal requirements and if they any of them are not met, the will is not valid. If you want to change your will after you make it, you can add a codicil (amendment or change) to your will; this codicil must meet the same requirements set out above.

    You do not have to have your will in any set format. However, it is important that the will has the following:

    " Your name and address
    " A statement that says you revoke or disown all earlier wills or codicils, such as "I hereby revoke all former wills and testamentary instruments made by me and declare this to be my last will and testament".
    " A clause or section of your will that appoints one or more executors, or people who will carry out your wishes in your will after you die, and stating these executors' names and addresses.
    " A residuary clause, which is a section in your will that sets out how property not effectively dealt with in the will should be distributed. This is important because specific bequests, such as "I leave x.. to Sean Murphy" can fail (be considered invalid), and then revert to the residue to be decided by this residuary clause. Your residuary clause could say that anything not covered in your will would be a gift or legacy to someone, like "The remainder of my estate I leave to my daughter, Mary".
    " Your will should be dated and signed by you and your witnesses. Usually, these signatures are underneath a line in the will that states "Signed by the testator in the presence of us and by us in the presence of the testator". This statement is called "an attestation clause". An attestation clause is not a formal requirement of a valid
    will, but it is advisable to include it in your will as it constitutes evidence that your will has been validly executed.

    By the way, there's no charge for the above advise as I'm not a solicitor!

  5. Welfarite

    Welfarite Frequent Poster

    Re: how to write a will?

    More on making a will ......relates to spouse's entitlements and kids' entitlements.....

    In general, you are free to dispose of your belongings or estate as you wish, but your will is subject to certain rights of spouses and other more limited rights of children.

    Rights of a spouse

    If you have left a will, and your spouse has never renounced or given up his/her rights to your estate, and is not "unworthy to succeed" in legal terms, then that spouse is entitled to what is called a "legal right share" of your estate. This legal right share is one-half of your estate if you do not have children and one-third if you do. Your spouse does not have to go to court to get this share, as any executor is obliged to grant this share where applicable. You can also make a bequest in your will that increases your spouse's legal right share, although if you do not specify that this gift is meant to be in addition to his/her legal right share, the executor may consider it part of that share and not an extra element to it. Your spouse can choose to take either the assets specified under the will or his/her legal right share. The executors must inform your spouse in writing of his or her right to choose between these two options and your spouse must exercise this right within 6 months of receipt of notification or within 12 months of the taking out of the Grant of Representation.

    Renouncing or losing rights under a will

    It is possible for a spouse to renounce his/her rights to the legal right share. This can form part of an agreement prior to marriage, for example, in the case of a second marriage, or the spouse may set aside his or her rights in order to favour any children. However, any such renunciation may be ignored in certain circumstances, for example, if there is evidence of undue influence or evidence that the spouse did not understand what he/she was doing or did not have independent legal advice.
    If a couple is separated, a renunciation of each other's right to the legal right share is usually included in a separation agreement. Divorce, however, automatically ends succession rights.
    Unmarried partners have no automatic legal right to each other's estates, although partners can make wills that favour each other. These wills, however, cannot cancel out the legal rights of a spouse if someone is separated but not divorced.
    Being judged "unworthy to succeed" is relatively rare, and would arise, for example, if the surviving spouse had murdered or committed certain other serious crimes against the deceased. It could also apply if the spouse had deserted the deceased for at least two years before death.

    Rights of children under a will

    Unlike a spouse, children do not have any absolute right to inherit their parent's estate if the parent has made a will. Children born inside or outside marriage and adopted children all have the same rights and there are no age restrictions.
    However, a child may make an application to court if he/she feels that he/she has not been adequately provided for. It is important to seek legal advice before making such an application. An application must be made within 6 months of the taking out of a Grant of Representation. The court then has to decide if the parent has failed in his/her duty to the child in accordance with the needs of that child. Each case is considered individually, but it is important to remember that the legal right share of the spouse cannot be infringed in order to give the child a greater share of the estate.

    The family home

    The surviving spouse may require that the family home be given to him/her in satisfaction of his/her legal right share, although if the house is worth more than the legal right share, the spouse may have to pay the difference into the deceased's estate. A court may decide that this sum does not have to be paid if it would cause undue hardship to the spouse or dependent children.

    Giving away property in order to disinherit

    If a court finds that the deceased person gave away property before he/she died with the intention of defeating the interest of or unfairly reducing the legal right share of a spouse or child, a court order may be issued to the person who received the property, making that person a debtor of the estate, and requiring them to pay back an amount to the estate.

    Gifts that fail

    Remember that any legacy or gift in your will could fail for many reasons.
    " If your will states that you are leaving an asset to someone and you no longer have the asset or the asset no longer exists, then the gift fails, or is in ademption.
    " If you leave a gift to a person who is a witness to your will.
    " If the gift is not clearly identified in your will or it
    does not conform to its description in the will.
    " Your gift lapses, or no longer applies, if the beneficiary dies before you do. If this happens or if the beneficiary refuses to accept the gift, your gift goes back to your residuary clause, or if you do not have one a residuary clause, into intestacy. Your gift will not lapse, however,
    if the beneficiary is a child of yours who has died and you have other children, as the gift will then go to the surviving children.

    How wills are interpreted

    Most wills are not disputed, but if there is a disagreement, it must be settled in court. The court will give effect to the testator or will-maker's wishes as expressed in the will. The testator's wishes are derived or taken from a reading of the will as a whole, with words and phrases taken in their ordinary meaning unless they are technical words and it can be assumed the testator meant them to be taken in their technical meaning. Extrinsic evidence, or evidence outside the will, such as letters or notes that refer to the will in advance of its making, may be introduced to the court to explain more fully the testator's intentions and to help ascertain the true meaning of the will. Where two interpretations of a provision in the will arise, the court will lean in favour of the interpretation that upholds that bequest.
    Because wills can be disputed, it is important that you write your will in simple, straightforward language.
  6. wishbone

    wishbone Frequent Poster

    If your will has anything to do with items owned in another country, you should check out the law over there also. For example if you have a property in France it is bound by French inheritance law and your Irish Will will be irrelevant in relation to it.
  7. hastalavista

    hastalavista Frequent Poster

    Single Farm Payments {SFP} in the context of wills

    Came across this issue recently and is worth posting here.

    The SFP is paid to a named individual and is therefore a separate income stream that goes with the land.

    I know it can be given to someone who is renting the land if that what works but in the case I had the farmer died and the the SFP was not mentioned in the will so it went to the widow with all the other stuff, no drama there.

    Widow dies with 4 surviving kids, one of whom was left the farm.

    No specific mention of the SFP in the will so it is divided between the 4 kids as part of the residue divvy up at the end.

    Son who has farm is miffed as the paperwork has to be done allocating the SFP to the 4 of them.
  8. hastalavista

    hastalavista Frequent Poster

    In Spain best to do a Spanish will for just the Spanish assets
  9. Negotiator

    Negotiator Frequent Poster

    I personally would advise against getting your solicitor in any way involved with your Will if you are comfortable enough doing it yourself. It is not necessary and can often cause delays and problems etc. There are a number of examples of people being ripped of by solicitors over the years and withholding the funds to boost their own cash flow etc. Only for the economic crash, these cases may not have been uncovered for many more years! There are templates you can download online and are very simple to do. The witnessing of the signatures is important.

    The important person is the executor in your Will who will carry out your wishes so make sure that person is someone you trust the most. I have my Will in a safe place at my home and I let the relevant people know where it is. That's all they need and can take it from there, job done no complications!!
  10. MrEarl

    MrEarl Frequent Poster


    I must admit I am new to this and do not have a will - do have a wife though (and I'm sure she'd like me to have a will, not alone perhaps do one for herself).

    Does anyone have a link to a suitable template, to draft up a Will please ?

    How much should a Solicitor charge, to formally prepare a Will for you (assuming you have one drafted before you sit down with the Solicitor) ?

    Does the Solicitor also charge you, to hold a copy of the Will ?

    Many thanks

    Mr. Earl.
  11. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

    Do not draft your own will no matter how good the template. And going into a solicitor with one drafted up is a bit insulting to his intelligence and would be very offputting. Listing what you want and your assets however is a good idea.

    Wills are the cheapest legal work, a loss leader if you like for solicitors. No idea what they currently cost but it was about 100 Euros or so 10 years ago. The solicitor will hold the will for you (in a fire safe) and will not charge for this. Take a copy of the will. And make sure people know where it is kept.

    The above assumes a fairly simple will, which is the majority of cases.

    Some credit unions have a service for this via a solicitor.
  12. Negotiator

    Negotiator Frequent Poster

    Check out for a cheap template.
  13. Sean Bateman

    Sean Bateman Registered User

    Personally, I wanted to cover what happens to any assets if (God forbid) my wife and I died before the kids were (say) 25. We picked 25 as the age we'd be happy for our kids to inherit assets. Prior to that, we've nominated two people to dish out funds / assets as required and as per our instructions (essentially covering maintenance and education).
  14. Haille

    Haille Frequent Poster

    making a will

    Forgive my ignorance I am looking for information on drawing up a will.I have a few questions that i cannot seem to get the answers to .My wife and I have a family home and an investment property both jointly owned. All our savings are in joint accounts. We have 3 children aged 27, 24 and 21.If either of us dies will my wife or I automatically inherit both properties and savings as we are joint owners.No need for will in this scenario?
    In the event of both of us dying at the same time I can see the benefit of making a will. Is it possible for my wife and I to make a joint will or do we have to make separate wills with all the same details in both. I find it difficult to understand how I can will 2 properties and savings when I am only equal joint owner. Will a solicitor charge for making two separate wills? Does this date back to the time when the male was often registered as the sole owner of the property? Any advice please.
  15. pjq

    pjq Frequent Poster

    OP's experience

    I see that I started this thread in 2007, so I'll set out my experience.
    My aunt became seriously ill in June 2008 and died in Dec of that year.
    -When she was diagnosed the solicitor came to our house (16km drive) and drew up a new will with her appointing my cousin and me as executors. He later read her will to us in his office. Cost for will and reading €300-
    - My Aunts assets were 1 Bank A/c 1 Post A/c and investments with Zurich and Aviva plus her home, the solicitor quoted €10k to execute the will on our behalf.
    - We executed it ourselves, it involved 2 trips to Dublin and maybe 10 meetings to go through papers, we got an Estate Agent to sell the house in mid-2009, we did not DIY due to property crisis.
    - All cash legacies were paid 10 months after death, and proceeds of the house were distributed 15 months after death.
    Probate Office
    The key process for executors was a trip to the Probate Office and then a walk to the High Court to pay fees, this was legalistic but in the end user friendly for non legal people.
    The probate people spend loads of time looking at the staples on legal documents ( in case they have been taken apart, I know in first world countries they number the pages, page 3 of 7 etc.) , and there is plenty of other legal hocus pocus. But worth it to avoid a 10k hit from solicitor. However , I would not fancy facing the Probate people if I had drawn up the will ie. without a solicitor.
  16. Hippykitten

    Hippykitten Frequent Poster

    My sister and I were chatting about this recently. She has a little girl so was anxious to put her wishes should anything happen to herself on a legal footing (sounds awful but necessary) It got me thinking that I should also make a will. My situation is a little different.
    I am single with no dependents (have a very special pet dog!!!)
    I am renting and have money on deposit, a car, joint ownership of a greyhound! etc.
    What are the basics (information/documents) I need to bring with me for a first meeting?
    Who do most people choose as their executor of the will?
    Will it be a straightforward and reasonably priced exercise?
    Any other considerations? Thanks
  17. Newbie-employee

    Newbie-employee Registered User

    If you draw up a Will yourself adhering to the advice above; can you take a soft-copy of it and shred the original ? (Obviously letting others have access to the soft-copy etc etc)
  18. Bronte

    Bronte Frequent Poster

    What do you mean shred it, one needs the original signed will for it to be valid, photocopies are no good. The cheapest legal service one can get is the making of a will. Many credit unions organise this service anually with a local solicitor. I know years ago you could get a simple draft will in Easons.