Making a Will in Ireland – Your Questions Answered

Making a Will in Ireland – Your Questions Answered

The act of making a will is not something that most people like to think about. After all, it means coming to terms with our own mortality. End of life planning is a sensitive subject that people often prefer to not address, however, it is an important conversation to have and a conversation to begin sooner rather than later.

The importance of making a will can never be understated. It is one of the most important things you can do to protect your loved ones and ensure that your wishes are carried out after you pass away. If you have children, a will is an essential document. It protects your children and provides for them financially should you die. If you do not have children, a will allows you to decide exactly who will receive your possessions and estate after you die and can help to avoid any family disputes.

Many people put off making a will because they are not sure where to start or what they need to know before they begin the process. This blog post will answer some of the most commonly asked questions around making a will in Ireland so that you can be better informed and feel more confident about taking this important step.

Why Do I Need a Will?

A will is vital in ensuring that your wishes are carried out after you die and that through the appropriate distribution of your estate, your loved ones are taken care of financially. If you have young children, a will allows you to appoint a guardian for them should you die and make sure your money, belongings and assets are passed down accordingly when they come of age. This is also referred to as your “estate”. Your estate is everything you own including your house, car, savings, investments and personal belongings. It is not the assets you possess at the time of signing your will, but the assets you possess at the time of your passing. This is the estate that will be distributed as you wish through your will.

The benefits of a will do not end with your family’s financial security. There are numerous other benefits such as;

  • You may use your will to describe your wishes in death, such as whether you want to be buried or cremated, and what type of ceremony you would like carried out in the event of your passing.
  • If you are unmarried and have a partner, a will is a perfect way to guarantee that they will be covered under the law.
  • You can use your will to support charities or causes that you care about by including them as beneficiaries in your will.
  • A will can also help to avoid any family disputes that may arise after your death as it provides clear instructions on how you would like your estate to be divided. It will be one less thing for your family to worry about at a time when they are already suffering the loss of someone they cared deeply for.
  • Making a will can provide you with great peace of mind, knowing that all your affairs are in order is a weight lifted off your shoulders. It allows you to live your life to the fullest, safe in the knowledge that should anything happen to you, those you love will be taken care of.

What Will Happen if I Don’t Make a Will?

If a person dies without having made a will in Ireland they are said to have died “intestate”, and their estate will be distributed according to the intestacy rules. Their estate will subsequently be distributed in accordance with the Succession Act 1965. The Succession Act of 1965 establishes the estate distribution in line with anybody who is designated as a deceased person’s surviving family, be it spouse, civil partner, or child.

For example if you are survived by a spouse or a civil partner they will inherit your estate, or if you are not survived by children or relations the State will inherit your estate. It’s possible though that these default lines of distribution aren’t the way you want your estate to be administered and without a will in place your wishes can be easily misconstrued.

How Do I Make a Will?

It is strongly advised to contact a solicitor to assist in the process of writing your will. A will is a legally binding document and as such there are certain rules and regulations that must be adhered to in order for it to be considered valid under the eyes of the law:

  • You must be over 18 years of age
  • You must be of sound mind
  • The will must be in writing
  • The will must be signed by you in the presence of two independent witnesses who are both present at the same time
  • Additionally, both witnesses must sign the will in your presence and in the presence of each other.
  • The signatures must be located at the end of the will

You can prepare your own will or you can instruct a solicitor to do it on your behalf. If you prepare your own will it is advisable to have it checked over by a solicitor to ensure that it meets the legal requirements and covers everything you want it to. We will cover the benefits of hiring a solicitor in greater detail shortly.

What Information Does My Solicitor Need to Prepare My Will?

At the very least, your will should cover the following:-

  • Your personal details including your full name, address, date of birth and nationality
  • The names, addresses and dates of birth of your spouse or civil partner and any children you have
  • Who you would like to benefit from your will and how. You can leave specific items or sums of money to people (known as “specific bequests”) or you can leave everything to one person.
  • Who you would like to appoint as executor(s) of your estate. Furthermore, you may want to appoint more than one person as joint executors. This means they will share the responsibility for dealing with your estate.

An executor is the person, chosen by the deceased, to deal with the administration of the will upon the deceased’s passing. It is the responsibility of the executor to take out “probate” on a will. The process of taking out probate involves the executor bringing the will to the Probate Office – the Irish body responsible for recognising the legality of a will – to ensure that the will is legal and binding and that all financial and tax matters regarding the will are in order. A will can only then come into effect once the Probate Office signs off on its validity. If a deceased has no will then the individual tasked with handling the person’s estate is known as an “administrator”.

It is important to bear in mind that there are statutory entitlements under the Succession Act in regards to whether or not you have children and what they are entitled to. Up until 1965, a person’s estate was theirs to do with as they pleased after their death, regardless of their spouse or children’s circumstances. However, under Section 117 of the Succession Act, a child can contest a will if they feel that they have not been adequately provided for.

If the court decides that the child has not been adequately provided for, they can make an order for “provision” to be made from the estate. This means that the court can award a lump sum of money or transfer property to the child out of the estate, or make some other order for the child’s benefit. These are exactly the type of necessary, legal provisions that an experienced solicitor can help navigate.

Can I Amend my Will?

You can and should review your will at least every five years or whenever a major life event occurs, such as getting married, having children, buying a property or receiving an inheritance. If you don’t review your will and something happens that isn’t covered by it, your estate may not be distributed according to your wishes.

Is it Risky to Forego a Solicitor When Making a Will?

While it is possible to make a will without using a solicitor, it is heavily advised against. This is because the legal requirements for a valid will are quite specific, and if even one of them is not met correctly, the will may be found to be invalid. If you use a solicitor to prepare your will, they will ensure that all the necessary requirements are fulfilled down to the finest detail.

What Can a Solicitor Do in Helping Me Make a Will?

A solicitor can help you with a will in a number of ways. First, they can ensure that your will meets all the legal requirements for it to be valid. Second, they can help you to decide what should go into your will. This includes deciding who should be the executor of your estate and who should benefit from your estate. Thirdly, they can help you to change your will if you need to. This could be because you have married, divorced, had children or bought a property since you made your last will. Finally, they can keep your will safe for you. This is important because if your will cannot be found when you die, it may be considered to have been destroyed and will therefore be invalid.

As you can see, there are many tricky legal provisions and potential pitfalls when it comes to making a will. This is why it is always best to seek the advice of a solicitor when doing so. There is much to be said for the peace of mind that comes with knowing your affairs are in order and being managed by someone with years of experience. If you have any further questions about making a will, or would like to make an appointment to have your will prepared, please contact us at Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors. We would be happy to help you.

Finding the Right Property Solicitor for Your Situation

Finding the Right Property Solicitor for Your Situation

Whenever you are looking at buying or selling a property in Ireland, it is important to have the right solicitor for your specific situation at your side. There are many things that go into a property transaction, and having a great solicitor can make the whole process much, much easier. Property law in Ireland can be complex and there are many things that need to be considered when making such an important transaction. You need a solicitor who has experience in this area and who can guide you through the process, ensuring that everything goes as smoothly as possible. In this blog post, we will discuss the various things to consider when looking to find the right property solicitor in Ireland. We will talk about what makes a good solicitor, and what areas of expertise they should have. We will also discuss the financial aspects of buying and selling property in Ireland and give you some tips on things that you should know when making such a large purchase. So whether you are just starting to think about buying a property, or if you are in the final stages of completing a sale, read on for some helpful advice!

So You Need a Property Solicitor:

If you’re reading this blog, odds are you are in the market to hire a property solicitor. There are numerous reasons why an individual might seek the advice or guidance of a conveyancing solicitor – a conveyancing solicitor is simply a solicitor with specific expertise in the buying and selling of property. Maybe you are looking to buy your first home and need some assistance with the paperwork. Maybe you are selling a property and need someone to help finalise the sale. Perhaps you are renting out a property and need some legal advice on how to protect yourself as a landlord. Whatever your specific situation may be, it is important to find a solicitor who can provide you with the guidance and support that you need.

There are some situations where it might be okay to forgo hiring a solicitor. For example, if you are simply renewing a lease on a property that you have been renting for many years, there is no need to hire legal representation. However, if you are buying or selling a property, it is highly recommended that you seek out the services of a property solicitor.

There are many reasons why you might need the assistance of a property solicitor when buying or selling a property in Ireland. First and foremost, a good solicitor will have extensive knowledge of Irish property law. This is incredibly important, as there are many different laws and regulations that govern property transactions in Ireland. A solicitor will be able to advise you on all of the different legal aspects of buying or selling a property, ensuring that everything is done correctly and in accordance with the law.

Another reason to hire a solicitor is for their negotiating skills. When it comes to buying or selling a property, there are usually many different parties involved in the transaction, all with their own interests and agendas. A good solicitor will be able to navigate these different interests and help you to reach a favourable outcome for your specific situation.

Finally, a property solicitor can provide valuable advice on the financial aspects of buying or selling a property. They will be able to advise you on the different mortgage products available, as well as any other financial implications that might be relevant to your specific situation.

What Will Your Property Solicitor Do?

Before hiring a property solicitor, it is important to understand the typical tasks that a conveyancing solicitor will be responsible for when you are looking to complete a large property transaction.

First and foremost, your solicitor will be responsible for ensuring that all of the relevant paperwork is completed correctly. This includes things like drawing up a Contract for Sale when selling property, transferring title deeds, and dealing with any other legal documents that might be required in the process. Regarding the transfer of deeds, in Ireland there are two processes for dealing with the transfer of title documents – Registry of Deeds and the Land Registry. Your solicitor must know the difference between these systems and complete the correct checks and balances accordingly.

Your solicitor will also be responsible for liaising with different parties involved in the transaction, such as banks, estate agents, and other solicitors. This is an important role, as it helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that there are no misunderstandings or miscommunications throughout the process.

It is also the responsibility of your conveyancing solicitor to complete local council searches for you when you are buying a property. While a seller is obliged to inform you on specific details relating to the property – for example, property defects – the seller is not legally obliged to inform you on every single aspect of the property. This is why it is important that you find the right property solicitor who will complete all necessary searches into the property to ensure you are fully informed before signing any paperwork.

Finally, your solicitor will be responsible for ensuring that the transaction is completed in a timely manner. This includes things like chasing up any outstanding payments, dealing with any last-minute issues that might arise, and generally keeping the process moving forward.

The Pitfalls of Property Transactions:

The right conveyancing solicitor for you is a solicitor who has the experience and expertise to identify and anticipate all of the potential pitfalls and issues that could arise when completing a property sale or purchase. Employing a solicitor who can successfully navigate through the transaction by preempting and avoiding any negative outcomes is paramount when completing such an important transaction.

While hiring a property solicitor can help to make the process of buying or selling a property much smoother, there are still some potential pitfalls that you need to be aware of.

One of the biggest pitfalls that people can face when buying or selling a property is not understanding the process. This can often lead to people making mistakes or missing important deadlines, which can end up costing them a lot of money in the long run.

Another pitfall to be aware of is not having all of the relevant information before entering into a property transaction. This can often lead to people making decisions based on incomplete or incorrect information, which can again end up costing them a lot of money in the long run. This is particularly important when it comes to the relevance of the legal information a buyer or seller may possess at the time of the transaction. The law in Ireland is constantly evolving and changing and it is important that you choose a solicitor who is learned in the most recent legislation and is constantly updating their expertise and knowledge.

An additional risk to be aware of is the potential for delays. Even if everything is going smoothly, there can still be delays in the completion of a property transaction. This is often due to things like banks taking longer to process mortgages, or problems with the title deeds.

Finally, there is always the risk that something could go wrong and the transaction might not be completed successfully. This could be due to a number of different factors, including one of the parties changing their mind, or a problem with the paperwork. A good property solicitor will do everything in their power to ensure this doesn’t happen. Be it by vetting the other parties and offering sound advice, or understanding every aspect of each contract and the fine print contained within, a good solicitor works to put their client in the best position possible to ensure that the transaction is completed successfully.

While these risks might seem daunting, it is important to remember that they are relatively rare. As long as you take the time to choose a reputable property solicitor and do your due diligence throughout the process, you should be able to complete your transaction without any problems.

Here at Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors, we are experts in all aspects of conveyancing law. With over 40 years of experience under our belt, when it comes to property transactions, there isn’t a pitfall we haven’t already seen and dealt with in the past. Regardless of the obstacles that may be thrown your way, you can rest assured that we’ve got you covered.

Understanding the Transaction’s Magnitude:

When looking for the right property solicitor for your situation, it is important to find someone who understands the magnitude of the transaction at hand. Buying or selling a home is a huge decision, and is one that will have long-lasting implications, especially if you are a first time buyer. You need to be sure that you are working with someone who knows the ins and outs of the process and can guide you through it smoothly.

Similarly, if you are selling your family home, you need to find a solicitor who understands the sentimental value of the property. They should be someone who is sensitive to your situation and can help to make the process as stress-free as possible.

Additionally, it is important that you find a solicitor with the expertise to handle all of the financial aspects of a large property transaction. This includes things like aiding you in your mortgage bid, calculating stamp duty and advising you on the amount of capital gains or other taxes owed when selling a property – note, capital gain tax is only applicable where the property being sold is not your main residence. They should also be able to advise you on the most efficient way to structure the deal in order to minimise your tax liability.

Local Knowledge

Finally, one of the most important qualities to look for when finding a good conveyancing solicitor is local knowledge. Not only will solicitors with good knowledge of the area you are looking to sell/purchase be able to advise you on things like local property prices, but they will also be aware of any potential problems that might arise with the property due to the location.

For example, if you are looking to buy a property in an area that is prone to flooding, a good solicitor will be able to advise you on the best way to protect yourself from this risk. Similarly, if you are looking to buy a property with the intention of developing or building an extension, they will be able to advise you on the likelihood of whether or not planning permission will be approved.

Additionally, by opting to work with a solicitor with a great local reputation and years of experience in the area, you can rely on the relationships they have built over the course of their career to ensure the transaction is completed smoothly. This is particularly relevant where your solicitor is likely to have relationships with the multiple vendors and third parties involved in the transaction – other party’s solicitor, auctioneer, engineer etc.

The name ‘Kevin O’Higgins’ is one that is known the country over in legal circles. Having previously acted as President of the Irish Law Society (2015) and the Dublin Solicitors Bar Association (DSBA) (2009/10), Kevin has developed strong working relationships with a great number of legal and property professionals across Ireland and abroad.


While there are many things to consider when finding a good property solicitor, the most important thing is to find someone you can trust. This is a person who will be handling one of the biggest financial transactions of your life, so it is important that you feel confident in their ability to do so.

If you take the time to consider all of the factors outlined above, you should be able to find a property solicitor who is a good fit for your specific situation. Once you have found someone you are happy with, they will be able to guide you through the process and ensure everything goes smoothly.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a property, get in touch with Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors now.