Making a will is important as it ensures that proper arrangements are made for your dependants and that your property is distributed according to your wishes. If you die without making a will, then the laws of Intestacy will apply as follows;
- For single people with no children, your parents (provided they survive you) will inherit your Estate. In the event that your parents have predeceased you, then your surviving brothers and sisters will inherit your Estate in equal shares. If you die without parents or siblings then your Estate will be divided amongst your nearest relatives.
- If you are married with no children, your spouse is entitled to your entire Estate. If you leave a spouse and children your spouse gets two-thirds of your estate and the remaining third goes to your children in equal shares.
The first step to think of when making a will is to appoint your Executors. Executors are the person(s) who will administer your estate as per your instructions. Choose the persons who are best suited to carrying out the terms of your will. One of the advantages of making a will is that you get to choose the persons who will administer your estate. It is recommended that you appoint two Executors and that they are made aware of their role and who know that you have made a Will and where it is held so as to avoid delays in administering your Estate, after death. They should also be able to find details of all your assets.
The usual assets would fall under the following headings:
(a) Property i.e family home etc.;
(b) Cash legacies;
(c) Shares/Savings Certificates/Bonds;
(d) Specific property i.e Jewellery, paintings, furniture and other contents etc.;
(e) Insurance Policies/ Death Benefits.
It is also important to note if you have specific funeral wishes that they are mentioned in the Will, however, it is important that you make your Executors and/or a member of your family or friend aware of your wishes as more often than not , your Will may not be read until after the funeral has taken place.
In the event that you have children under the age of eighteen years of age it is important that you make provision in your Will that they will be looked after, in the event of both parents death, Guardians should be appointed. A Guardian is a person with power to take over your role as a parent in rearing your children until they reach the age of 18 years of age or 23 if in full time education. The person whom you appoint as an Executor to your Will may also be appointed as a Guardian.
This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute specific legal advice, which should be obtained at all times. For more information, contact Eamon Concannon of Concannon Solicitors on 091-700-172/700-173 or e-mail with any queries.