There are people who would rather visit a dentist for root canal treatment than visit a solicitor to make a will, and that’s okay, but they need to do this just as much as they need the dentist.
DIY Wills – DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME!
There are circumstances where I have encouraged clients to do DIY Probate and even DIY Divorces, but never, ever DIY Wills.
As we saw from the very sad case of the poet, John O’Donohue – https://www.irishtimes.com/news/will-of-late-poet-john-o-donohue-declared-void-1.6325, even the most eloquent of us can go wrong when we try to put our last wishes in writing. There is no more precise language than that used in poetry, more so even than the law, so how did it happen that even the Court could not figure out what his intentions had been about his estate of €2 million? The Judge was very clear about that. He should have taken legal advice. Even lawyers can benefit from having another lawyer review their wills.
If you do not want to make a will, you need to be very clear about who will benefit from your worldly goods when you die without making one. That prospect alone might be enough to convince you to make a will. You need to take legal advice as to who the beneficiaries might be. You cannot always assume that your husband, wife or partner will inherit everything. On the other hand, you may not want your husband, wife or partner to inherit anything.
If you are making a will you should be clear about the full extent of your assets, to the extent of making a comprehensive list which can be updated regularly. This is easily done with modern technology. That type of list makes it very easy for your family or your Executor to do their job. I have come across many cases where the family did not know about a bank account because there was no evidence of it and no list. This is a particular danger nowadays when so many people have online accounts.
Then there is the question of tax. In 2021, each of your children is entitled to inherit €335,000 from his parents free of tax. This sounds like a great deal of money but, to put it in perspective, the average price of a house in Dublin is way above that. Another good reason to make a will is to mitigate tax as far as you can.
If you want to discuss whether you should make a will and what the tax implications might be if you do not, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, click the call button, phone 014545138 or use the Contact Form.