If you wish to make a will yourself, you can do so, but it is easy to make mistakes and, if there are errors in the will, this can cause problems after your death.

Some common mistakes in making a will are:-

  • not being aware of the formal requirements needed to make a will legally valid;
  • failing to take account of all the money and property available;
  • failing to take account of the possibility that a beneficiary may die before the person making the will;
  • changing the will. If these alterations are not signed and witnessed, they are invalid;
  • being unaware of the effect of marriage, a registered civil partnership, divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership on a will.

A will is considered valid when it is:

  • made by a person who is 18 years old or over; and
  • made voluntarily and without pressure from any other person; and
  • made by a person who is of sound mind; and
  • in writing; and
  • signed by the person making the will in the presence of two witnesses; and
  • signed by the two witnesses, in the presence of the person making the will, after it has been signed. A witness or the married partner of a witness cannot benefit from a will;
  • Although it will be legally valid even if it is not dated, it is best to ensure that the will also includes the date on which it is signed;
  • As soon as the will is signed and witnessed, it is complete

You should seek advice from a solicitor if:

  • you share a property with someone who is not your husband, wife or civil partner;
  • you wish to make provision for a dependant who is unable to care for themselves;
  • your permanent home is not in Ireland;
  • you are resident here but there is overseas property involved;
  • you are resident here but there is overseas       property involved;
  • there are several family members who may make a claim on the will, for example, a second wife or children from other relationships
  • there is a business involved