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Making a Will

“In this world, nothing can be certain but death and taxes.”

We deal with taxes every day of our lives and while the end of our lives is something that none of us wants to contemplate, estate planning is a vital part of managing one’s affairs. This is particularly important regarding assets, finances and ensuring that one’s dependants are provided for in the event of one’s death.

If you die without making a will, you are said to have died intestate. This means that the legal rules governing the distribution of property will apply. After all debts and expenses have been deducted, the estate can be distributed in various way depending on who you are survived by.

If you are survived by;

  • A spouse/civil partner but no children (or grandchildren): Your spouse/civil partner gets the entire estate.
  • A spouse/civil partner and children: Your spouse/civil partner 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/civil partner: Your estate is divided equally among your children (or their children).
  • Parents, but no spouse/civil partner 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.

A Will allows one to make provisions for the distribution of their estate other than those specified above. For this reason, your Will is a vitally important document. It should be reviewed by a solicitor periodically so that it is up to date and accurately reflects your wishes.

You may wish to give certain items, assets or an amount of money (bequests) to particular individuals (beneficiaries). If you have minor children (under the age of 18) then you should also appoint a Guardian in your Will.

Another important thing to remember when it comes to making your Will is that your familial relationship with the beneficiaries (brother or sister/son or daughter) will dictate the tax liability they will face.

Requirements for making a Will

A number of requirements must also be fulfilled for a Will to be valid;

  • The Will must be in writing.
  • You must be over 18.
  • You must be of sound mind.
  • You must sign or mark the Will/ acknowledge a signature or mark on the Will in the presence of two witnesses.
  • Your two witnesses must sign the Will in your presence.
  • Your two witnesses cannot be people who will gain from your Will and they must be present with you at the same time for their attestation to be valid. The witnesses’ spouses/civil partners also cannot gain from your Will.
  • Your witnesses must see you sign the Will but they do not have to see what is written in it.
  • The signature or mark must be at the end of the Will.

As a highly experienced Probate Solicitors in Cork, Halpin and Company Solicitors are the best place to advise you on your Will.

If you have been entrusted to administer the estate of a deceased relative, either as executor (where there is a Will) or as administrator (where there is no Will), it can be a traumatic experience at a difficult time in one’s life. We will guide you through the process while providing the best legal advice possible with compassion and expertise.


For efficient legal advice on the above subject matter, contact us on 021 – 4251843 or by email at info@halpinsolicitors.ie


HALPIN & Co. Solicitors | Practical Experience, Trusted Advice – from Solicitors in Cork

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7 South Mall, Cork City

Tel: 021 425 1843

Email: info@halpinsolicitors.ie

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