Envelope with Last Will and Testament


Q. I am being harassed to make a Will by my local solicitor. I am 34, married with two children – dying is currently not on my agenda. Is there an easy option ? Jim – Portlaois

A. Does sound a little morbid Jim but sadly it is a useful exercise. Ironically this week sees Best Will Week ( 2nd to 6th November ) highlighting the need for everyone to make a Will. Research revealed today from Amarach September Omnibus 2015 details that only three in every ten Irish people have drafted a will in preparation for their death. Death is rarely a straightforward business and preparing for the future by getting important affairs in order gives peace of mind. It also provides certainty for loved ones and perhaps not so loved ones around important issues such as deciding upon a burial versus cremation, considering an enduring power of attorney or organising finances. The research found that over a quarter of those surveyed have benefited from a will but despite this, only 50% of Irish people have engaged with any of the practicalities around preparing for their own death, from making a will to discussing their wishes with family. When a person in Ireland dies without a will, their estate is divided among family members on the basis of rules laid down in the Succession Act 1965. If no beneficiaries can be found, the person’s estate, including property and savings, revert to the State’s intestate funds deposit account. Preparation for death is more prevalent with males than females and is of more concern to parents. The most surprising revelation from the research may be that only a quarter have discussed their wishes with their family with a large majority leaving their legacy completely uncertain. Will preparation is most popular with the over 55’s demographic with 57% having already drafted their will. The younger demographic are not yet engaging the process with two thirds of those aged 25 – 34 not yet doing anything to prepare for their death, including drafting a will. Only a fifth of 35 – 44 year olds have prepared their wills which is surprising when this is considered the time in people’s lives when they buy a property or have children. If either of you die, having a Will simplifies the process. There are also do-it-yourself websites ( e.g. www.irishwills.ie ) if you do not want to involve a solicitor. Better to be prepared than not.

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