This is the website of the Citizens Information Board — the State board tasked with providing information on public and social services. It is an excellent website with comprehensive information on a wide variety of topics, including wills and inheritance. In its ‘Death and Bereavement’ section, there is information on how to make a will, what happens a deceased’s estate if they have — or have not — made a will, how to register a death, and the main money matters that can arise after a death. You can also find information about Capital Acquisitions Tax — more commonly known as inheritance tax — on this website. This is the website of the Law Society of Ireland. The site has a link to a helpful ‘Making a Will’ guide the Retirement Planning Council of Ireland. “However, people will come in and out of your life after you make a will — and your circumstances are likely to change as you get older. So it’s important to review a will every five years.”
Children can often be overlooked in wills — particularly in the event of the untimely death of one or both spouses. Should you have children, it’s important to include them in your will — regardless of which spouse outlives the other. This is particularly the case if your children are young, or if one of them has a medical condition or disability and so requires care and financial support. Couples often plan to draw up a will where the surviving spouse inherits everything — on the assumption that one spouse will outlive the other and that the surviving spouse will look after the children. However, this may not always happen. Both parents could have an untimely death or die at, or very near, the same time. This is the website of the Revenue Commissioners where you can find information on inheritance tax, including the tax-free thresholds (where you “There will effectively be no will if both parents die at the same time and a will has been made leaving everything to the surviving partner,” said Bell. Be mindful too that one spouse could remarry after the other passes away — or that one or both spouses could remarry if the marriage breaks down. In such cases, the children of the first marriage could be at a disadvantage if they haven’t been provided for in a will.
“If the surviving spouse remarries, the new wife will automatically be entitled to half of everything — and if the new marriage produces children, the share of an estate left for the children of the first marriage will be watered down again,” said Browne. of it, he or she is entitled to a legal right share of your estate — which can be claimed after you die, if they wish to do so. In such cases, should you have no children, your spouse has an automatic right to claim half of your estate. Should you have children, your spouse is entitled to a third of the estate and your children are not necessarily entitled to the rest. You do not have to leave anything to your children in your will. However, if you do not, they may be able to challenge your will on the basis that you have not fulfilled your obligations towards them.
You can leave instructions in your will stating that money in your bank account be used to cover the cost of your funeral expenses when you die.
Hire a solicitor or get professional advice when drawing up your will — otherwise, you could make a will which is wholly, or partly, invalid. Should this arise, the rules of intestacy will apply to either the entire will or the invalid part — and so your wishes on how your estate is divided are unlikely to be carried out. Tell a trusted relative or friend where your will is. “Very often, people know a will is made — but can’t find it,” said Bell. “Normally, the original is left with a solicitor — and a photocopy with the individual’s other papers.”
Wills are said to bring out the worst in human nature so there is never any guarantee that yours will be received amicably, despite any efforts you take to achieve that. Still, it’s worth doing what you can to avoid conflict after you pass away.
You can expect to pay a solicitor anything from €100 to a few hundred euro for a simple will. However, the cost could be much more, depending on how complicated your will is. “Wills for very big complicated cases could cost tens of thousands of euros,” said Michael Gaffney, a tax expert with KPMG who has advised many family businesses on succession planning.
Richard Harris in The Field, which showed just how divisive the issue of land can be