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Wills and Probate
Should I make a will? This is a common question which Howard Synnott is asked on a daily basis. The short answer is yes, making a will is a simple straight forward means of catering for your wishes in the case of your death.
At Howard Synnott Solicitor we provide a professional will drafting and updating service, and offer comprehensive advice on all areas of wills and probate
While costs vary depending on the complexity of the will, a standard will can cost from just €50 per person.
For further information, or to arrange a free first consultation or quote call 01-6105185 or 6760555, or click here for us to call you.
What is a will?
A will is a witnessed document that sets out in writing the deceased's wishes for his or her possessions, (called his or her 'estate'), after death.
Reasons for making a will.
It is important for you to make a will because if you do not, and die without a will, the law on intestacy decides what happens to your property. A will can ensure that proper arrangements are made for your dependants and that your property is distributed in the way you wish after you die, subject to certain rights of spouses and children.
What happens if you die having made a will
If you have made a will, you are called a testator (male) or testatrix (female). A person who dies having made a valid will is said to have died 'testate'. If you die testate, then all your possessions will be distributed in the way you set out in your will. It is the job of the executor or executors you named in your will to make sure this happens.
What happens if you die without a will or your current will is invalid
A person who dies without a will is said to have died 'intestate'. If you die intestate, this means your estate, or everything that you own, is distributed in accordance with the law by an administrator. To do this, the administrator needs permission in the form of a Grant of Representation. When a person dies without a will or when their will is invalid, this Grant is issued as Letters of Administration by the Probate Office or the District Probate Registry for the area in which the person lived at the time of death.
Distribution of your estate when you die intestate or have not made a valid will
The legal rules governing the distribution of your property apply:
- When you have not made a will
- When the will has been denied probate because it has not been made properly or a challenge to it has been successful
- When the will does not completely deal with all your possessions
In these cases, after debts and expenses have been deducted, the estate is distributed in the following way.
If you are survived by:
- A spouse but no children (or grandchildren): your spouse gets the entire estate.
- A spouse and children: your spouse gets two-thirds of your estate and the remaining one-third is divided equally among your children. If one of your children has died, that share goes to his/her children.
- Children, but no spouse: your estate is divided equally among your children (or their children).
- Parents, but no spouse or children: your estate is divided equally between your parents or given entirely to one parent if only one survives.
- Brothers and sisters only: your estate is shared equally among them, with the children of a deceased brother or sister taking his/her share.
- Nieces and nephews only: your estate is divided equally among those surviving.
- Other relatives only: your estate is divided equally between the nearest equal relationship.
- No relatives: your estate goes to the state.
Click here for The law Society Of Ireland "Making a Will" leaflet.