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Why Do I Need A Will? Will ya make a Will, will ya?? Blog220

17th April 2023

Paddy Delaney

Do I Need A Will

Even subconsciously, the question surely pops into most people’s heads; “Why Do I Need A Will?”

Sure I’ll be dead, so I will!

I totally get it. You will be dead yes by the time it is put into action (so to speak).

And given that a large percentage of the human race is reluctant to take action now that will benefit their future self, it is no surprise to hear that the majority of people in Ireland haven’t made a Will (which will benefit their heirs and loved ones, and not themselves!). The Farmer’s Journal put that figure at 70% of Irish people do not have a Will as of 2022.

In an effort to shift that needle, I will share with you 7 Important considerations in making a Will.

#1 Minimising Tax.

Starting with the one that might grab your attention! There are certain exemptions and reliefs available for people related to you, to receive inheritance from you. Failing to have a Will and not maximising these opportunities could be financially costly. Group A; €335k, Group B; €32.5k and Group C; €16.25k.

If you really wanted to, you could distribute even a very large estate across many many people, totally avoiding taxation on your large estate.

#2 Choosing Your Beneficiaries

This naturally follows the last point. Importantly, if you die without a Will or with an incomplete one (Intestate), your estate is distributed according to Succession Law, and not the hopes you had in your head before death!

Those laws may distribute your estate very differently from how you had hoped or assumed it would be done and one of the most important things to think about when asking ‘Why Do I Need A Will.’

For example, co-habiting couples can often fall foul of the Succession Laws, and one person left behind may end up with little or nothing if the other person dies without a Will confirming their wishes.

The Citizens Information website has some great information on different assets and how they may be distributed.

#3 Making Provision For Children

Won’t be applicable to everyone, but a Will allows one to specify the distribution of their estate to the specific needs of a child. If you wanted to delay or advance the distribution of income, or increase the allocation to support a certain child or loved one, a Will can enable this to be locked in and carried out on your behalf. Again, without a valid Will, these things cannot be confirmed.

#4 Choosing Executors

When it comes time to execute your Will, you’ll want some efficient and trusted people to do so. Being an Executor involves managing distributions of a trust (if applicable), following up with banks and closing/arranging your accounts and assets after death, dealing with the beneficiaries, among many other administrative responsibilities. It is not for the faint-hearted, particularly if there is any sort of complexity in your affairs. You’ll ideally want some good people on the job!

#5 Appointing Guardians

For some people, this is a big call too when thinking about ‘Why Do I Need A Will’! When we were choosing Guardians for our kids, we really had to trust and believe that the ‘lucky ones’ were up to the job!

Imagine if Fiona and I died tomorrow, the Guardians, overnight, have an additional 3 kids to raise, feed, educate, and guide!! I’m not sure I’d want that responsibility, as we’re just about navigating it as we are!! Nominating Guardians in your Will is the optimal way to ensure children will be with the people you want them to be with.

#6 Protect Your Estate

If a Will specifies that certain assets passed to someone must be held in Trust, it can help protect the assets, and your legacy, if that person becomes bankrupt or divorced.

A Trust can also be useful to implement, if certain assets that someone receives from you in their Will are intended to pass to someone else after the death of that person. Ultimately, these are all mechanisms that can protect your interests/wishes and those of your beneficiaries, and protect them from ‘the clutches’ of people whom you may wish!

#7 Business Planning

Last, but by no means least. Many people have interests in small and medium businesses in Ireland. When it comes to succession planning for business, it is an often-forgotten aspect. Sure people are too busy running their business to worry about who’ll run it if they aren’t around tomorrow!

Some company articles may restrict potential transfers to beneficiaries, and it can become a total mess if the wrong people end up with the wrong type of control or share! Really important too to ensure that there is some form of business continuity plan in place, if the business is to keep running after the death of those in control.


So, in reply to the question ‘Why Do I Need A Will?’, here are 7 potential reasons, of which possibly 1 or 2 only may apply. But those 1 or 2 reasons might be just enough to convince you to email a solicitor to make an appointment to go and make one.

And be sure to ask the question as to what their fee will be to administer it at the time! Many solicitors might even do the drafting of the Will for free, knowing they are hoping to be allowed to administer that Will in future, in return for a large slice of the pie, so check out their fees now rather than later (at which point it will be too late!).

I hope it helps,


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