There are many advantages to making a Will, including:
CHOICE: You choose the people who will carry out your wishes
CERTAINTY: You leave your assets to the people you choose
PROTECT: Protect your family and the people who depend on you
AVOID TAX: Minimise or avoid any inheritance tax payable
By making a Will you take control over an event that unfortunately you have no control over. It is especially important to have an up-to-date Will where the person making the Will is caring for an individual that is unable to look after themselves (e.g. due to a mental or physical disability). In these types of cases it is vital that safeguards are put in place for when the inevitable happens.
The loss of a loved one is a very upsetting experience and can lead to a lot of stress. When someone dies, it’s important to seek proper legal advice and assistance in order to deal with the deceased person’s estate whether by way of Will or intestacy (i.e. where they haven’t left a will).
Who can make a Will?
Anyone who has attained the age of 18 or is or has been married and is of sound mind can make a Will. The capacity of persons to make a Will is set out in Section 77 of the Succession Act, 1965.
Why should I make a Will?
It is important that you make a Will to provide for the distribution of your property by means of a clear legal document which will take effect after you die. Making a Will allows an individual to provide for the special needs of family members. If you do not make a Will you lose your chance to appoint an executor to handle your affairs and your estate will be divided in accordance with the law of the land and not necessarily in the manner which you might have wished.
What if I don’t make a Will?
If you don’t make a Will then the estate will normally be administered by your closest relative and your property will be distributed in accordance with the law of the land.
Who should be my executor?
Persons chosen as executors should be trustworthy and capable. You should have confidence in their ability to carry out your wishes as expressed in your Will. They should also have a thorough knowledge of your affairs. A person will often make a close family member an executor since they are likely to have a very detailed and intimate knowledge of the deceased’s affairs.
A beneficiary should never be a witness to a Will since being a witness can invalidate the gift. Where a Will gives a gift to a person under the age of 18 years then trustees should be appointed to hold the gift for the person in question until he/she attains full age or such age as is designated in the Will. A beneficiary can be and often is appointed as an executor .
When dealing with persons under the age of 18 years one must also consider the question of testamentary guardians. Executors and trustees can also be testamentary guardians.