Did you know that less than 1 in 3 Irish adults currently have a will in place? (Source: Irish Life, July 2014).
If you don’t make a will, you cannot be certain your wishes will be carried out after you die and that your personal possessions will be taken care of as you would like.
Why should I make a will?
- Great financial check-list: To make a will, you should start by doing a checklist of all of your assets and liabilities. This can give you a good indication of whether or not you have made adequate financial arrangements for your dependants.
- More Control: You can specify how - and to whom - your possessions will be distributed when you die. Think about personal or sentimental belongings, jewellery, cars, art, savings accounts or life insurance plans. Also, you may want to leave something to a specific person – for example a godchild.
- Save time and money: Not only can it save time and potential legal bills for the people left behind, it can also help avoid unnecessary arguments amongst family which can occur if your wishes are not made clear.
- Some-one you trust: You can appoint an executor – someone you can trust - to sort out your affairs and carry out your wishes. That's reassuring!
- Children taken care of: You can name the person or people (guardians) you would like to look after your children should anything happen to you or your spouse or / partner. You can also appoint a trustee – someone to manage financial affairs on your children’s behalf.
- Protecting your partner: If you live with your partner but are not married, they have no automatic entitlement to your property, even the house you live in together. So a will can give them some certainty.
- Tax efficiency: You can use your will to minimise the tax your beneficiaries may have to pay by taking advantage of certain tax reliefs and allowances.
- Keep things updated: If you get married or enter into a civil partnership, any existing wills are automatically revoked and you will need to write a new will. Also, if you have been through a separation or divorce it is essential to make a new (or review any existing) will to reflect any change in your family circumstances.
- Your last request! If you want something specific done as part of your post funeral arrangements, there is no better place to leave your instructions.
- With flexibility to change your mind: A will is not set in stone, you can amend it as your circumstances change – so talk to your solicitor today!