WILLS & PROBATE – A DO-IT-YOURSELF PACKAGE….
Less than 30% of the Irish population have a Will in place…there is a reticence and reluctance in carrying out what is a really important function, especially if you have family. Writing a Will should be a simple exercise for the majority of people in Ireland.
99% of Irish citizens’ estates ( what they own ) are NOT complex – generally one or two properties, a few bank accounts, some alternative assets such as your car, your watch, some art etc.. that’s it. Also the vast majority of citizens have uncomplicated relationships. For those citizens, drafting your own Will could not be easier…
John Lowe of MoneyDoctors.ie today launched a new cost-effective service enabling thousands of Irish citizens to safely and securely draft up their own Wills AND put in place a structure whereby their representatives are empowered to process the Grant of Probate without the need to involve the legal profession outside of property conveyancing, saving 000s of euro. See PROBATE STEPS below.
You can now order one of 6 specific WILL templates ( in word document ) and accompanying 7 documents (including this PRESS RELEASE) in a special do-it-yourself package from www.moneydoctors.ie/wills.
The cost of this complete Will package ? Only € 50 plus 23% VAT ( a total of € 61.50 )
Each package includes :
- 3 word documents (one of 6 Will template options, a List of Assets & Personal Information template and an Enduring Power of Attorney template) so YOU can input on YOUR lap top or complete in YOUR own handwriting.. plus 5 other pdf documents including this press release.
THE DETAILS ….
When people think of Wills, they think of solicitors… the majority of solicitors charge a small fee for drafting Wills however they never let you know what the Probate estimate costs will be when you pass on. They also generally keep the original copy of the Will –needed for the Grant of Probate…meaning your executor/executrix have to go to the solicitor holding the Will when you, the Testator, dies.
Therefore with this new DIY Will package, just ensure you or your loved ones keep the original copy of the Will and let your representatives ( executor/s / executrix/ces ) know where that original copy is kept as it will be needed when Probate is being processed.
Your estate will save on time and money as this simple process can be expensive if done via a legal firm – to quote from https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/ …some probate specialists and solicitors charge an hourly rate while others charge a fee that is a percentage of the value of the estate ( all your assets – the things you own that are valuable ). This fee is usually calculated as between 1% to 5% of the value of the estate PLUS VAT.
John Lowe of MoneyDoctors.ie said “I have seen a probate charge of 3½% for the first € 10,000 of the total estate value, 3% for the 2nd € 10,000 and 2½% for the balance…simply unjustifiable… especially where the estate is less than € 1.5million and there are no relationship complications….”
There are only 6 basic types of Will…. where you are
- SINGLE or LEGALLY SEPARATED/DIVORCED, with NO CHILDREN
- SINGLE or LEGALLY SEPARATED/DIVORCED, with CHILDREN under 18
- SINGLE or LEGALLY SEPARATED/DIVORCED, with ADULT CHILDREN
- MARRIED or CIVIL UNION, with NO CHILDREN
- MARRIED or CIVIL UNION, with CHILDREN under 18
- MARRIED or CIVIL UNION, with ADULT CHILDREN
All 6 of these word document templates are now available on www.moneydoctors.ie/wills in a special DO-IT-YOURSELF package deal with some very important additions :
- You will receive your preferred Will template in a word document format where YOU complete same on YOUR own laptop/PC or in YOUR own handwriting…no leaving extremely personal information about your Last Will & Testament on a known or unknown website no matter how secure it is…
- You will also receive a “List of Assets & Personal Information” template in a word document format …ranging from your property, bank accounts, shares investments and alternative assets to the email and passwords of all your social media apps… again YOU complete on YOUR laptop/PC or in YOUR own handwriting…
- Included also is an Enduring Power of Attorney template, again in word document format – an important document for you and your loved ones in case there is a need in later life to take actions on the donor’s behalf. This document takes effect on the incapacity of the donor and will require legal representation at that time.
- Also included from the best-selling Money Doctors 2021 is the chapter “Coping with bereavement” in pdf format – everything you want to know from the Will to the Probate – the latter a very simple process for the executor/s / executrix/ces as described in this chapter – when someone close to you dies. Your estate will save considerably on legal fees.
- Three other documents included are …
- Bereavement check list & Irish Funeral Guide 2021 ( pdf )
- Bereavement Support Services 2021 ( pdf )
- What is an Enduring Power of Attorney – explanatory fact sheet ( pdf )
There are just a few important things to remember when you are completing your Will – here are my top 10…
- You have to nominate an executor/s or executrix/ces who is appointed to look after the affairs/estate of you, the deceased person and make sure your wishes, as set out in your Will, are put into place. Therefore you have to tell them about the Will and its location….
- Ensure any beneficiaries are fully named with their addresses / eircodes even PPS #s.
- You sign and date the Will… if you have any medical issues you may need to obtain a certificate of competence from a doctor or specialist stating you have the capacity to sign a Will…”being of sound mind“…
- The two witnesses who witness your signature must NOT benefit from your estate directly or indirectly. Their full names, addresses, PPS numbers, eircodes and occupations must be recorded on the Will below your name. The same witnesses do not have to see the contents of your Will just witness your signature.
- You then keep the original Will and put it up in a safe place – make a copy and give it to a trusted friend / family member. The original Will is the important document and if you want the executor/s / executrix/ces to complete the Probate, they will need the original Will so they must know where it is located. Also make provision in case of a house fire… ( fire proof safe or filing cabinet etc )
- Make provision in case any of your executor/s / executrix/ces or beneficiaries pre-decease you.
- Be sure to nominate a guardian if you have children under 18 in case anything happens to either parent or both and / or make provision if you have children with special needs.
- DNA assets should also be recorded. You need permission to sample it, and permission to access any records relating to it. Many by now have Ancestry.ie or similar. This should be listed since this is definitely a valued piece of family inheritance. Remembering too that the person who has access to any DNA records must be, like an executor/s / executrix/ces, responsible enough to take on the info that may come with it.
- The template for an Enduring Power of Attorney is included in this package and a fact sheet on why you may need to sign one plus for more information visit this weblink – just to make you aware of its availability when support is needed. A solicitor will be required at the time to effect same as it can only be obtained in the High Court. https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/death/before_a_death/power_of_attorney.html
- Click on this link to find out about the 3 group thresholds (e.g. A – Parent to child €335,000 etc B & C ) and all you need to know about inheritance – https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/money_and_tax/tax/capital_taxes/capital_acquisitions_tax.html
Only where your estate is complex will you need the services of a legal firm. Conveyancing property will also attract legal fees and still require a solicitor but like everything else, your executor/s / executrix/ces should shop around for the best deals.
Probate is the legal entire process of administering a dead person’s estate ( assets – what they own ) and for the legal profession a very lucrative area of income. Usually Probate is needed if the deceased owned assets worth more than € 25,000 and these assets are not passing to a surviving co-owner. If Probate is necessary, the deceased’s assets will be “frozen” ( cannot withdraw funds from their bank accounts etc ) and can only be accessed once a Grant of Representation from the Probate Office ( part of the High Court – the Principal Probate Registry is the Dublin Probate Office in Smithfield Dublin 7 tel +353 1 8886174/6728 plus there are other offices in Cork, Limerick Galway and a number of other District Probate Registries ) has been issued (or a Grant of Administration from the High Court if there is no Will).. this is a very simple process that most executors/executrices can undertake to do themselves.
Therefore you can not only write up the Will yourself on YOUR own lap top or YOUR own handwriting, you can also instruct your executor/s / executrix/ces to apply for the Grant of Representation in the Probate Office themselves when you pass on – a really simply exercise that also is NOT complex while Probate fees, based on the value of your estate, are not onerous plus only payable when processing Probate…
- You the executor or executrix ( you were nominated in the Will by the testator – the person who signed the Will ) will need the original Will ( ensure it is witnessed properly and signed by the testator ) Certificate of Competence ( if necessary ) and List of Assets – ideally all should be attached to the Will ( though you will be transcribing that list on to the Probate form ) to start the process of applying for the Grant of Probate.
- You apply to the Probate Office ( there are several around the country but the main one is in Dublin ) now online because of COVID for the application form to complete.. this is the link – https://www.courts.ie/applying-probate-without-solicitor ( it has all the info on what you need to do )
- Once you have sent in that form to the Probate Office, you will then make an appointment to “see” – probably by zoom – the Personal Representative in the Probate Office to go through your application form.. takes about 30 minutes
- If all is approved, you then receive the Grant of Probate after which you distribute the assets in the estate ( what the person who died owned ) according to the instructions in the Will..
Because of COVID the process is taking far longer but it would be the same for the legal profession. You will save 000s of euro in legal fees by advising your representative to apply for the Grant of Probate.
For Probate fees click on this weblink
HOW TO ORDER YOUR DIY WILL PACKAGE….
- Click on www.moneydoctors.ie/wills and select your preferred package of 8 documents ( 3 word documents including your preferred Will template and 5 pdf documents ) These will be available to download upon receipt of € 61.50 payment.
IF YOU ARE UNSURE ABOUT THE COMPLEXITY OF YOUR ESTATE – WHAT YOU OWN, THE COMPLEXITIES OF YOUR RELATIONSHIPS OR IF YOU FEEL ANYTHING IS MISSING FROM YOUR WILL TEMPLATE SEEK PROFESSIONAL LEGAL ADVICE ON A ONCE OFF FEE BASIS SO YOU CAN THEN DETERMINE WHETHER THESE TEMPLATES WILL BE SUITABLE FOR YOU.
Please note that MONEY DOCTORS do not give any advice whatsoever including legal or taxation on these blank templates nor accept any responsibility in the event of any dispute arising and disclaim all liability or responsibility for any losses or damage which may be sustained by any testator, beneficiaries, executors/executrices or any 3rd parties as a result of taking these blank templates and completing same.
For more information, contact John Lowe directly at
- +353 1 278 5555
John Lowe, QFA, APA Debt Mgt MCC, PIP, Dip.Iod., Fellow of the Institute of Bankers, is owner & managing director of Providence Finance Services Ltd trading as Money Doctors, based in Stillorgan Co Dublin. He is author of Money Doctors 2021 ( 16th edition published by Providence Press – RRP € 12.99 ) tel +353 1 278 5555 email firstname.lastname@example.org for webinars/seminars or consultations. Web www.moneydoctors.ie – Twitter (@themoneydoc), Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest & Instagram