Less than 30% of the Irish population have written a Will…there is a reticence in carrying out what is a really important function especially if you have family. Writing a Will should be a simple exercise. 99% of Irish citizens’ estates are NOT complex – generally one or two properties, a few bank accounts, some alternative assets.. that’s it. John Lowe of MoneyDoctors.ie demystifies and simplifies what is generally thought a complex subject..

When people think of Wills, they think of solicitors… of course the vast majority of solicitors charge a fee for drawing up the Will but they never let you know what the Probate costs are because…. you are dead ! Probate is a legal process that requires the recording of all deceased persons, what they own ( their “estate”) and who is getting it. 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 Probate has been issued by the Probate office ( or a Grant of Administration if there is no Will )..

You can not only write up the Will yourself, you can also instruct your executor/s / executrix/es to complete the Grant of Probate themselves when you pass on – a really simply exercise that also is NOT complex but it does require the original Will when applying..

Your estate will save on time and money – to quote from the internet… some probate specialists and solicitors charge an hourly rate while others charge a fee that is a percentage of the value of the estate. This fee is usually calculated as between 1% to 5% of the value of the estate PLUS VAT.

There are only 6 types of Will….  where YOU are


Ideally you should be able to

  • Receive your chosen Will in a word document format where YOU complete same on YOUR laptop/PC or in YOUR own handwriting..
  • No leaving extremely personal information about your Last Will & Testament on an unknown website no matter how much you trust it…
  • Receive a “List of Assets” in 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, your PC and mobile phone… again YOU complete on YOUR laptop/PC or your own handwriting…
  • You could refer to the Money Doctors 2023 pdf chapter “Coping with bereavement” – everything you want to know from the Will to the Probate – the latter a very simple process for the executor/s / executrix/es as described in this article – when someone close to you dies. Your estate will save considerably on legal fees. The Probate office’s weblink for those wanting to apply for the Grant of Probate themselves is a little bit of a giveaway –


  • Six other documents you could obtain are …
    • Bereavement check list & Irish Funeral Guide 2021 (pdf)
    • Bereavement Support Services 2021 (pdf)
    • Enduring Power of Attorney template (word document)
    • What is an Enduring Power of Attorney fact sheet (pdf)
    • Press release – Wills & Probate – a do-it-yourself package (4.8.21)
    • The 4 Probate steps – a one page document to give to your executor/executrix enabling them to apply for the Grant of Probate

There are just a few important things to consider :

  1. YOU have to nominate an executor/s or executrix/es 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….
  2. Ensure any beneficiaries are fully named with their addresses / Eircode, even PPS #s.
  3. YOU sign and date the Will…witnessed by two people – they do not have to see what is in the Will nor does it have to be “executed” in a solicitor’s office, it can be done anywhere as long as it is witnessed.
  4. The two witnesses who witness your signature must NOT benefit from your estate. Their full names and addresses must be recorded on the Will below your name.
  5. YOU then keep the original Will and put it up in a safe place – make a copy and give it to your executor / executrix letting them know its location. The original Will is the important document and if you want the executor/s / executrix/es to complete the Probate, they will need the original Will so that is why they must know where it is located along with that List of Assets and Personal Information. Also make provision in case of a house fire… ( fire proof safe or locked filing cabinet etc )
  6. Make provision in case any of your executor/s / executrix/es or beneficiaries pre-decease you.
  7. Be sure to nominate a guardian if you have children under 18 and / or make provision if you have children with special needs.
  8. 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/es, responsible enough to take on the info that may come with it.
  9. Also you will need to know about an Enduring Power of Attorney and why you may need to sign one plus for more information visit this weblink –


Only where your estate is complex will you need the services of a solicitor. Conveyancing property will also attract legal fees and still require a solicitor but like everything else, your executor/s / executrix/es should shop around.

Stay healthy. Email me for more information.

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