We, at D’Arcy & Co, Solicitors, Kildare, are qualified at Solicitor and Legal Executive level as full members of STEP (The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners – the professional body for trust and estate practitioners worldwide) enabling us to provide an efficient and quick service in dealing with estates.
Common questions in relation to Making a Will
Can I leave more to one child than to other children?
A parent can choose to leave more to one child than to other children. However, where a parent does so, then the other children may have grounds to bring a claim to court that, by doing so, their parent failed in their moral duty to those other children. The court (if it agrees with the claim), then has the power to order changes to what people receive under the will.
Clients using this service will need to give the following information:-
- Details about you
We will need your name and address, date of birth, marital status and tax residence and domicile status.
- Particular or special funeral wishes
Funeral directions are generally better left outside the will. However if you have any special funeral wishes these can be included.
- Details of the whereabouts of previous wills (if any) made by you
Providing such information when making a new will can help avoid confusion upon your death
- Details of who you wish to act as your Executors/Trustees
We generally recommend there be two Executors. Executors are those to whom you are entrusting the administration of your estate. The role of Trustees is different. They take care of assets and cash on behalf of beneficiaries (generally children) who are not in position to take their benefit at the time of your death. Generally the same people hold the role of Executor and Trustee. You can if you wish appoint beneficiaries as Executors/ Trustees.
- Details of who you wish to act as Testamentary Guardian
If you have children under 18, a will allows you to nominate who is to be their Guardian in the event of both parents dying while your children are still minors.
- Your marital status
If you are married, your spouse holds succession rights in relation to your estate. It is also the case that separation and divorce arrangements affect those rights. These issues need to be considered when making your will.
Most married couples will wish to make wills with identical provisions at the same time as each other (mirror wills).
- Your children
Details need to be taken if you have children including marital, non-marital, adopted, foster and step children. These include their ages and any special needs. Children have certain rights in relation to their parent’s estate. These need to be gone through with you. If you wish to benefit children differently then a note should be taken of your reasons for wishing to do so. There are also a number special provisions relating to children under Irish law such as provisions in the event of you being predeceased by your child and situations where there has been advancement from you to children during your life. Where children under 18 inherit under your will, a trust will be created. Consideration should be given to what specific powers should be given under the trust and also the age (ie 18, 21 or 25) at which you wish your children to take their inheritance from the trust. Please note that where a will provides that children are to receive later than 18, there a number of complicated tax issues that arise and tax advice from an accountant should be taken if you wish to make such a provision.
- Details of your assets with approximate values
These may include:-
- House and contents including location of deeds
- Business or investment property
- Bank accounts
- Credit union accounts (including any nomination)
- Settled property
- Pension scheme benefits
- Life assurance (including any nomination)
- Details of assets held jointly
- Details of any foreign assets
- Details of who you wish to benefit under your will
Clients that have used our Wills making service should note the following:-
Safe Storage of Will
Wills should be stored in a safe place. We are happy to store wills in our fire proof wills safe.
Review of Wills
The will drafted for you takes account of your current circumstances at the time of making the will which include your personal, family and financial circumstances. These may change in the future.
If there is a change in your personal, family and financial circumstances you should contact me to review your Will. It may or may not be necessary to amend the Will at that time. Even so it is important to review the Will.
In any case, it is important that you review your Will in any event on a regular basis. Even if there is no change in your circumstances, your Will should be reviewed at least every two years. This is to take account of changes in the Law, practice and tax.
As you will be aware yourself if your Will needs to be reviewed or whether you want them reviewed, it will be matter for you to contact us regarding any review.