Why choose O’Donnell McKenna Solicitors?
At O’Donnell McKenna Solicitors we always strive to provide a professional service and we believe that clients are entitled to straightforward, honest advice from a reputable solicitors’ firm.
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document that clearly sets out your wishes for the distribution of your assets after you die.
Why make a Will?
Making a Will allows you to provide for the passing of your property within a clear-cut legal document to ensure that your assets are bequeathed and transferred in accordance with your wishes after your death.
What makes a valid Will?
- the Will must be in writing, preferably typewritten
- the testator (or testatrix if female) must clearly identify himself as the maker of the Will
- the testator may demonstrate that he has the capacity to dispose of his property and does so freely and willingly
- the testator should declare that he revokes all previous Wills and codicils. Otherwise, a subsequent Will revokes earlier Wills and codicils only to the extent to which they are inconsistent.
- the testator must sign and date the Will in the presence of two disinterested witnesses – ie. two people who will not inherit from the Will.
What should a Will contain?
A Will should contain at least the following elements:
- the testator’s name and address
- a revocation clause (revoking previous Wills)
- appointment of executors
- a list of all legacies (gifts of money or goods)
- a list of devises (gifts of real property)
- a residuary clause, disposing of the remainder of the estate and dealing with all eventualities
- the date
- the testator’s signature
- an attestation clause
- signature of the two witnesses
Are there any restrictions?
In general, you may not completely disinherit a spouse/civil partner and, if you do, your spouse/civil partner may claim his/her legal right share. You are not obliged to leave any assets to your children but if you do not, they may be able to make a claim on the basis that you have not fulfilled your obligations towards them. Anyone considering challenging a Will on these grounds should get legal advice before applying to the court. Children born within or outside marriage have the same rights. Aside from that, you are at liberty to dispose of your estate in whatever way you like.
What if I am separated, divorced, or an unmarried partner?
Being separated or divorced from your spouse does not mean that your spouse automatically loses the legal right to a share of your estate; however, the rights may be cancelled under the terms of a separation agreement or judicial separation, or can be cancelled by court order when there is a divorce.
What does intestate mean?
If a person dies without having made a Will, or if the Will is invalid for whatever reason, that person is said to have died ‘intestate’. If there is a valid Will, but part of it is invalid then that part of the Will is dealt with as if there was an intestacy. If that happens, your money and property is distributed in accordance with the rules set out in the Succession Act, 1965.
If you would like us to help you, or you would simply like to have a chat to discuss your options, don’t hesitate to contact us.