Making a Will in Ireland: Tips for Protecting Your Family’s Future

Making a Will in Ireland: Tips for Protecting Your Family’s Future


For many individuals, the thought of making a Will evokes a sense of unease. It’s often intertwined with acknowledging our death. However, while seemingly daunting, this process is a fundamental act of care and foresight for our families.

Making a Will in Ireland is not just about laying out who gets what. It’s a deeply personal conversation with the future. It ensures that your loved ones are protected and provided for according to your wishes. The importance of making a Will cannot be overstated. It’s a necessity when considering the peace of mind it brings to you and those close to you.

In Ireland, the process of making a Will is surrounded by legal formalities. At its heart, it’s about family. It’s about making choices today that will support your family’s needs and respect your wishes tomorrow. Whether it’s ensuring that your children are looked after or that your spouse is financially secure, a Will is the tool that makes your intentions clear and legally binding.

This article will outline the process of making a Will. It breaks down the process into manageable steps and offers practical tips for those looking to safeguard their family’s future. 

Making a Will in Ireland: Tips for Protecting Your Family’s Future | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Understanding the Basics of Wills in Ireland

Making a Will is a crucial step in managing your estate. It also ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your death. In Ireland, the process and importance of creating a Will are governed by a clear legal framework. That said, the concept remains straightforward.

A Will is a legal document where you, the testator, declare how your assets should be handled. You decide who should be the beneficiary of these assets after you die.

Key Elements of a Will:

  • Testator: The person making the Will.

  • Executor: An individual or institution appointed to carry out the directions of the Will.

  • Beneficiaries: The people or organisations who will receive your assets.

  • Assets: Everything you own that you may want to distribute. This includes property, money, and personal possessions.

Legal Requirements:

For a Will to be valid in Ireland, certain conditions must be met:

  • The testator must be at least 18 years old or married.

  • The Will must be written voluntarily, without any coercion.

  • The testator must be of sound mind. They must fully understanding the nature of the document and its implications.

  • The Will must be signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses. These witnesses must sign the document in the testator’s presence.

Why a Will is Necessary:

Without a Will, your estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy under the Succession Act of 1965. This may not align with your personal wishes or the needs of your family. As a result, it can lead to unintended consequences and disputes among your loved ones. A Will provides clarity, ensuring that your assets are distributed exactly as you intend. This offers peace of mind to both you and your family.

Creating a Will is not just about asset distribution. It’s also a form of protection for your loved ones. The document ensures they are cared for in your absence. This includes appointing guardians for minor children, making specific financial provisions, and even detailing your wishes for personal items that hold sentimental value.

In essence, a Will is your voice beyond your lifetime. It’s a testament to your care and consideration for your family’s future.

Understanding these basics is the first step towards making an informed decision about your Will. It lays the foundation for a secure future for your loved ones. By drafting a Will, you make sure all wishes are respected and carried out as you intended.

In the next sections, we’ll dive deeper into the implications of not having a Will. We also address the benefits of making a Will, and how to approach this important task with your family.

Making a Will in Ireland: Tips for Protecting Your Family’s Future | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

“What Happens If I Don’t Have a Will?”

The consequences of not having a Will in Ireland can be far-reaching. The result can often detract from what you might have wished for your family and assets. Dying without a Will, known as dying intestate, triggers a default legal process. This process may not reflect your personal desires or the specific needs of your loved ones.

Distribution Under the Rules of Intestacy:

When someone dies without a Will, their estate is distributed according to the rules of intestacy as outlined in the Succession Act of 1965. This might lead to outcomes that diverge significantly from what the deceased might have wanted:

  • If married or in a civil partnership, the entire estate may go to the spouse or civil partner. This potentially overlooks the needs or wishes of other relatives or children from previous relationships.

  • Children might inherit equally. However, this might not align with the deceased’s wishes for specific allocations or considerations for their individual needs.


  • In the absence of a spouse, civil partner, or children, the estate could pass to parents, siblings, or more distant relatives. In this case, the result might not reflect the deceased’s personal relationships or intentions.

Emotional and Financial Strain:

The absence of a Will can place an additional emotional and financial burden on families during an already difficult time. Without clear directives:

  • Family members may face uncertainty and disputes over the distribution of assets. This can lead to potential conflicts and strained relationships.

  • The probate process can become more complicated and time-consuming. It can delay the distribution of assets and possibly incurring additional legal costs.

Guardianship of Minor Children:

Perhaps one of the most significant impacts of not having a Will involves the care and guardianship of minor children. Without a Will specifying guardianship wishes:

  • The court will decide on the guardians for minor children. Their decision may not align with the deceased’s preferences or the children’s best interests.

  • This uncertainty can lead to disputes among family members and potentially distressing situations for the children involved.

The absence of a Will can indirectly complicate the lives of those you care about most. Making a Will is not only about distributing your assets but also about providing for your family’s needs. By preparing in advance, you’re protecting their future.

Creating a Will can eliminate unnecessary legal hurdles and emotional distress. By understanding the potential impacts of not having a Will, it becomes evident why taking the step to create one is a critical act of care for your loved ones.

In the following sections, we’ll guide you through the benefits of making a Will and how to ensure it reflects your wishes for your family’s future.

Making a Will in Ireland: Tips for Protecting Your Family’s Future | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Benefits of Making a Will for Your Family

Creating a Will is an act of foresight and compassion towards your family. It ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and offers significant benefits that can impact your family’s well-being.

Here, we dive into the key advantages of having a Will in place. We also highlight how it serves to protect and provide for your loved ones in Ireland.

Clear Direction for Asset Distribution:

  • Personalised Decisions: You have the control to decide exactly how your assets are divided among family members, friends, or charities, reflecting your relationships and values.

  • Protection for Minor Children: A Will allows you to make specific provisions for the care and financial support of your children, including the appointment of guardians.

  • Avoidance of Disputes: With your wishes clearly laid out in a Will, the potential for family disputes over the distribution of your estate is significantly reduced, helping to maintain harmony among your loved ones.

Minimise Legal and Financial Burdens:

  • Simplified Probate Process: A clear and valid Will can streamline the probate process, making it quicker and less costly for your family to access their inheritance.

  • Tax Considerations: Strategic estate planning through your Will can help minimise the tax burden on your estate, maximising the inheritance for your beneficiaries.

Peace of Mind for You and Your Family:

  • Security: Knowing that your family will be taken care of according to your wishes provides peace of mind to both you and your loved ones.

  • Clarity and Confidence: Your family will have the comfort of knowing they are fulfilling your final wishes, which can be a source of great comfort during a difficult time.

Adapt to the Changes of Life:

  • Revisable Documents: Wills can be updated to reflect life changes such as marriage, divorce, the birth of children, or changes in financial circumstances, ensuring your estate plan remains aligned with your current situation and wishes.

Making a Will is a powerful way to communicate your love and care for your family. It’s about making thoughtful choices that reflect your desires and priorities. This ensures that your legacy is preserved and passed on in the manner you envision.

More than a legal document, a Will is a reflection of your commitment to your family’s future and well-being. By recognising these benefits, it becomes clear why making a Will should be a priority for anyone concerned with the welfare of their loved ones.

In the next sections, we’ll explore the key considerations when making your Will and how to start this important conversation with your family.

Making a Will in Ireland: Tips for Protecting Your Family’s Future | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Key Considerations When Making Your Will

Crafting a Will is a thoughtful process that requires consideration of several key factors to ensure it accurately reflects your wishes and provides for your family’s needs.

Here are some crucial aspects to keep in mind when making your Will in Ireland. These elements are focused on making the process as comprehensive and beneficial for your loved ones as possible.

Assessing Your Assets and Liabilities:

  • Inventory of Assets: Begin by making a detailed list of your assets, including property, bank accounts, investments, and personal possessions of value. Understanding what you own is the first step in deciding how to distribute it.

  • Consideration of Liabilities: Be aware of any debts or obligations that may impact your estate. These liabilities can affect the net value of your estate and should be considered in your planning.

Choosing Executors and Guardians:

  • Selecting an Executor: Choose someone you trust to carry out the instructions in your Will. This should be a person who is responsible, organised, and willing to take on this important role.

  • Appointing Guardians for Minor Children: If you have children under the age of 18, deciding on a guardian is one of the most critical decisions. Consider who would best maintain your parenting style and values, and ensure you discuss this with the potential guardians before making your decision.

Making Specific Financial Provisions:

  • Direct Bequests: You may wish to leave specific items or amounts of money to certain individuals or organisations. Be clear and specific to avoid any confusion or disputes.

  • Trusts for Children or Dependents: For younger children or dependents with special needs, setting up a trust can ensure they are provided for in a way that meets their ongoing needs and circumstances.

Personal Sentiments and Legacies:

  • Sentimental Items: Beyond financial assets, consider any personal possessions with sentimental value. Leaving these items to specific loved ones can have profound emotional significance.

  • Charitable Donations: If there are causes or organisations you are passionate about, you can include provisions to support them in your Will, creating a lasting legacy.

Review and Update Regularly:

  • Life Changes: Major life events such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or the death of a beneficiary or executor necessitate a review and possible update of your Will to ensure it remains reflective of your current wishes.

  • Legal Updates: Stay informed about any changes in legislation that might affect your Will or estate planning in general. It may be beneficial to consult with a legal professional periodically to ensure your Will complies with current laws.

Creating a Will is not a one-time task but an ongoing commitment to safeguarding your family’s future. It requires careful thought, clear communication, and regular updates to ensure it continues to reflect your wishes and life circumstances accurately.

By considering these key aspects, you can create a comprehensive Will that provides peace of mind for you and security for your loved ones.

Making a Will in Ireland: Tips for Protecting Your Family’s Future | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

How to Start the Conversation with Your Family

Discussing the creation of a Will with your family is a crucial step that can be sensitive and emotional. However, it’s also an opportunity to ensure transparency, understand expectations, and convey your wishes clearly.

This conversation can bring peace of mind to both you and your loved ones, knowing that plans are in place for the future. Here are some tips for approaching this important discussion:

Choose the Right Time and Setting:

  • Timing: Select a time when your family is not preoccupied or stressed, ensuring everyone is more receptive and open to discussion.

  • Setting: Opt for a comfortable and private space where you can speak without interruptions, allowing for an open and honest conversation.

Be Clear About Your Intentions:

  • Purpose: Start by expressing your desire to ensure that everyone is taken care of and that your wishes are known and respected.

  • Reassurance: Emphasise that this is about planning for the future and providing security for your loved ones, not about dwelling on the negative.

Involve Your Family in the Process:

  • Expectations: Ask your family members about their expectations or concerns regarding the Will and estate planning. This can help address any potential issues early on.

  • Decisions: While the final decisions rest with you, involving your loved ones in the conversation can help them understand your choices and reduce potential conflicts later.

Use Simple, Understandable Language:

  • Avoid Jargon: Keep the conversation straightforward, avoiding legal terminology that might confuse or overwhelm your family members.

  • Clarifications: Be ready to explain the reasons behind specific decisions, especially those involving guardianship, asset distribution, or special provisions.

Address Any Questions or Concerns:

  • Openness: Encourage your family to ask questions and express their thoughts and concerns. This openness can lead to a more comprehensive understanding for everyone involved.

  • Professional Advice: If there are complex issues or questions you can’t answer, suggest consulting with a legal professional together for clarity.


  • Documentation: Consider summarising the key points discussed and any decisions made during the conversation in writing, and share this with your family.


  • Updates: Let your family know that you’ll keep them informed of any changes or updates to your Will, maintaining an ongoing dialogue.

Starting the conversation about making a Will can strengthen your family bond, ensuring that everyone feels considered and respected.

It’s a step toward mutual understanding and peace of mind, knowing that your family’s future is thoughtfully planned for.

Making a Will in Ireland: Tips for Protecting Your Family’s Future | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Navigating the Probate Process

Understanding the probate process is crucial for anyone making a Will in Ireland. It directly affects how and when your assets will be distributed to your beneficiaries.

Probate is the legal procedure that ensures your Will is valid and that your estate is distributed according to your wishes.

This section provides an overview of the probate process, its importance, and how having a Will simplifies this process for your loved ones.

What is Probate?

  • Definition: Probate is the court-supervised process of authenticating a deceased person’s Will, assessing the estate, paying off debts, and distributing the remaining assets to the designated beneficiaries.

  • Purpose: It serves to legally transfer ownership of the deceased’s assets to the beneficiaries and ensures that any debts or taxes owed by the estate are paid.

Probate with a Will:

  • Executor’s Role: If you have a Will, you will be named an executor. This person is responsible for initiating the probate process, gathering and valuing your assets, paying off debts, and distributing the assets as you have directed.

  • Simplification: Having a Will can significantly streamline the probate process. With clear instructions and appointed executors, the court can more easily validate your Will and allow the executor to carry out your wishes.

Probate without a Will (Intestacy):

  • Administrator Appointment: If you die without a Will, the court appoints an administrator, usually a close family member, to manage your estate.

    This process can be more complex and time-consuming, as the administrator must distribute the assets according to the default intestacy rules, which may not reflect your personal wishes.


  • Complications: The lack of a Will may lead to delays, increased costs, and potentially disputes among family members over the distribution of your estate.

How to Simplify the Probate Process for Your Family:

  • Detailed Will: Ensure your Will is clear, detailed, and legally valid to avoid any uncertainties or legal challenges that could complicate the probate process.

  • Organised Documents: Keep your estate documents, including your Will, in a safe but accessible place, and let your executor know where to find them.

  • Consider a Probate Solicitor: For more complex estates, consider advising your executor to hire a solicitor specialised in probate law to guide them through the process efficiently.

Benefits of Planning Ahead:

  • Minimise Stress: By having a Will and understanding the probate process, you can minimise the stress and burden on your loved ones during a difficult time.

  • Quicker Distribution: A clear Will can lead to a quicker probate process, allowing your beneficiaries to access their inheritance sooner and with fewer legal hurdles.

Navigating the probate process can seem daunting. With proper planning and a well-crafted Will, you can make it as smooth as possible for your loved ones.

This foresight ensures that your wishes are respected. It also provides peace of mind to both you and your family, knowing that everything is for the future.

Making a Will in Ireland: Tips for Protecting Your Family’s Future | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Seeking Professional Guidance

Creating a Will is one of the most significant steps you can take to ensure your estate is managed and distributed correctly after you pass away.

While it’s possible to draft a Will on your own, seeking professional advice from an experienced solicitor can offer numerous benefits. This are helpful when navigating the complexities of estate planning in Ireland.

This section outlines why professional guidance is crucial and how it can streamline the process of making your Will.

Complexity of Estate Planning:

  • Legal Expertise: Estate law can be complex and varies significantly by jurisdiction. A solicitor specialising in estate planning and Will drafting in Ireland can provide invaluable advice tailored to your specific situation, ensuring your Will complies with local laws and regulations.

  • Customised Solutions: Every individual’s circumstances are unique, involving different family dynamics, assets, and wishes. Professionals can offer personalised strategies that best meet your estate planning goals, addressing issues like guardianship for minors, setting up trusts, and tax implications.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls:

  • Validity Concerns: A professionally drafted Will minimises the risk of it being contested or deemed invalid due to errors or omissions. Solicitors ensure all legal requirements are met, including the proper signing and witnessing of the document.

  • Clarification of Wishes: Legal professionals can help articulate your wishes clearly, reducing the likelihood of disputes among beneficiaries by providing clarity and precision in the language used in your Will.

Updating Your Will:

  • Life Changes: Changes in your personal circumstances, such as marriage, divorce, the birth of children, or acquiring significant assets, may necessitate updates to your Will. A solicitor can help you make these adjustments to reflect your current wishes accurately.

  • Legislative Changes: Laws related to estate planning and taxation can evolve. A legal professional stays updated on these changes and can advise you on necessary modifications to your Will to ensure it remains effective and compliant.

The Role of a Solicitor:

  • Comprehensive Review: Beyond drafting your Will, a solicitor can review your overall estate plan, including assets, liabilities, and insurance policies, to ensure a holistic approach to your estate planning.

  • Probate Process Guidance: They can also offer guidance on the probate process, helping your executor understand their duties and the steps involved in administering your estate.

Peace of Mind:

Ultimately, the most significant benefit of seeking professional help is the peace of mind it brings. Knowing that your Will has been prepared with expert care ensures that your wishes will be honoured, and your loved ones will be cared for as you intended.

Seeking out professional advice for drafting your Will is not just about the document itself. The right guidance can ensure your final wishes are accurately recorded and legally binding.

This professional input safeguards your estate and provides clarity and comfort to your family during what will undoubtedly be a challenging time. Listen to what Kevin O’Higgins had to say about drafting a Will alongside an experienced solicitor.

Making a Will in Ireland: Tips for Protecting Your Family’s Future | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

FAQs About Making a Will in Ireland

When considering making a Will in Ireland, many individuals have questions about the process, its implications, and how to ensure their wishes are accurately reflected.

This section addresses some of the most common questions, providing clear and concise answers to help demystify the process of creating a Will.

1. Do I really need a solicitor to make a Will?

While it’s possible to draft a Will on your own, consulting with a solicitor ensures that your Will complies with all legal requirements and accurately reflects your wishes.

Solicitors can also provide advice on complex issues. Such areas include tax planning, guardianship, and the establishment of trusts. These help reduce the likelihood of disputes among your beneficiaries.

2. What happens if I die without a Will in Ireland?

If you die without a Will (intestate), your estate will be distributed according to the rules set out in the Succession Act of 1965.

This may not align with your personal wishes and could lead to unintended consequences for your loved ones, including potential disputes and additional legal complications.

3. Can I change my Will after it’s been made?

Yes, you can (and should) update your Will to reflect changes in your circumstances. Common updates include marriage, divorce, the birth of children, or significant changes in your financial situation.

These updates are typically done through a codicil (an amendment to your Will) or by drafting a new Will entirely.

4. How do I choose an executor for my Will?

Choose someone you trust to be responsible and impartial, such as a close family member, friend, or a professional like a solicitor.

The role of an executor involves managing your estate according to your Will. Therefore, it’s important to discuss this responsibility with them before making your decision.

5. Are digital assets included in Wills?

Yes, digital assets, such as online accounts, social media, and digital currencies, can and should be included in your Will. It’s important to provide clear instructions on how these assets should be handled, including access details, to ensure they are managed according to your wishes.

6. How can I ensure my Will is followed?

Having a legally valid Will that is clear and unambiguous is the best way to ensure your wishes are followed. Additionally, discussing your Will and its contents with your executor and beneficiaries can help clarify your intentions and reduce the likelihood of disputes.

7. What is the difference between a Will and a living will?

A Will dictates the distribution of your assets after your death, while a living will (also known as an advanced healthcare directive) outlines your wishes regarding medical treatment if you become unable to communicate those decisions yourself.

Both are important components of a comprehensive estate plan.

For more frequently asked questions, read our new FAQ Guide on Making a Will in Ireland. Planning your estate is a significant task, but with the right information and guidance, it can be a smooth and reassuring process.

Making a Will in Ireland: Tips for Protecting Your Family’s Future | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Conclusion: Planning for Your Family's Future

Making a Will is a big step in looking after your family’s future. It’s more than just filling out forms—it’s about making sure your wishes are followed and your loved ones are taken care of when you’re not around.

A Will helps you say exactly who should get what, from your house and savings to special items that mean a lot to you and your family. This way, you can avoid any confusion or arguments and make things easier for everyone.

We know talking about Wills and dealing with legal stuff can seem complicated. That’s why we’re here to help.

At Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors, we’re all about making the process straightforward and stress-free. We’ll listen to what you want, answer your questions, and make sure your Will does exactly what you need it to do. Whether you’re writing a Will for the first time or updating an old one, we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

Creating a Will is important for everyone, no matter what you own. It gives you peace of mind, knowing your family will be okay and that your wishes will be respected. If you’re thinking about making a Will or just want to talk about your options, get in touch with us.

Contact Kevin today to start planning for your family’s future. It’s one of the most caring things you can do for them.

Making a Will in Ireland: Tips for Protecting Your Family’s Future | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors
How To Find The Right Solicitor When Making a Will (2024)

How To Find The Right Solicitor When Making a Will (2024)

Introduction: Making A Will In Ireland

The decision to draft a Will is a significant step towards safeguarding your legacy. It ensures your loved ones are cared for according to your wishes. In Ireland, the intricacies of probate law and estate planning can seem daunting. Therefore, the importance of enlisting the right legal expertise cannot be overstated.

This guide aims to simplify the process of finding a solicitor. They should not only possess the required legal skills but also align with your personal values.

Making a Will involves more than just listing your assets. Your Will is a reflection of your life’s work and your care for those you leave behind. Whether you’re looking to establish guardianship for your children, control the distribution of your estate, or minimise the potential for legal disputes, the right solicitor can make all the difference. 

However, the journey to finding this professional involves multiple steps. These include: a clear understanding of your needs; an appreciation for the role of a solicitor; and knowledge of the potential pitfalls of navigating this process without expert guidance.

“Do I Need Professional Help When Making A Will?”

The allure of drafting a Will independently can be strong. Most people are tempted by the thought of saving on legal fees. Yet, the potential consequences of a DIY Will often far outweigh the initial savings.

DIY Wills are fraught with risks. From simple errors that could invalidate the document to more complex legal misunderstandings that might lead to unintended disputes.

Professional solicitors bring a level of scrutiny and expertise that is crucial in drafting a legally sound document. They ensure that your Will complies with Irish law, reflects your wishes accurately, and considers the tax implications for your estate and beneficiaries. 

A well-drafted Will can prevent your loved ones from facing legal hurdles, costly litigation, or disputes that could strain family relationships in your absence.

Moreover, solicitors can provide invaluable advice on aspects of estate planning that you might not have considered. These areas cover effective ways to structure bequests, the appointment of executors and guardians, and how to handle complex assets.

Looking to address all potential issues and get peace of mind? Legal guidance is instrumental in creating a comprehensive estate plan.

What’s The Legal Process When Making A Will?

Understanding the legal landscape is crucial when making a Will in Ireland. The process is governed by specific requirements:

  • the testator must be over 18 and of sound mind;

  • the Will must be written, signed by the testator, and

  • witnessed by two independent individuals.

These legal stipulations ensure the document’s validity and enforceability.

Beyond these basics, several considerations come into play. Such considerations include the designation of executors—who will be responsible for administering your estate—and guardians for any minor children. The potential for inheritance tax, known as Capital Acquisitions Tax in Ireland, also requires careful planning.

A solicitor’s expertise is vital in navigating these complexities. They ensure your Will is not only legally compliant, but also structured to benefits your heirs according to your intentions.

How To Find The Right Solicitor When Making a Will (2024) | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

How To Find The Right Solicitor When Making A Will

Have you started the journey to find a solicitor for drafting your Will? Evaluating potential candidates becomes a pivotal step.

This evaluation is not merely about verifying credentials. It’s also about understanding the solicitor’s approach to handling your estate. Their communication style and commitment to tailoring their service to meet your unique needs are significant components.

Key Factors in Evaluation

Experience and Specialisation:

Look for a solicitor with extensive experience in Wills and estate planning. Specialisation in probate law is a clear indicator that they are well-versed. This level of expertise ensures they understand the nuances of drafting Wills and can navigate any complex legal issues.

Ask about their experience with estates similar to yours. Find out how they’ve addressed challenges in the past.

Communication and Clarity:

A solicitor’s ability to communicate complex legal concepts in simple, understandable language is crucial. During your initial consultations, pay attention to how they explain the process and answer your questions.

You want a solicitor who is responsive. They should also make you feel comfortable and confident in their ability to represent your interests. 

Client Reviews and Testimonials:

Research the solicitor or their firm online to find reviews and testimonials from previous clients. These insights can provide valuable information. Look out for their reliability, professionalism, and the quality of service.

While positive reviews are encouraging, pay attention to how the solicitor has addressed any negative feedback. This can be indicative of their commitment to client satisfaction. 

Questions to Ask When Selecting A Solicitor

When meeting with a solicitor, consider asking the following questions to gauge their suitability:

  • How long have you specialised in Wills and Probate?

  • Can you provide examples of how you’ve tailored your service to your clients?

  • What is your approach to estate planning and tax considerations in drafting a Will?

  • How do you charge for your services, and can you provide an estimate for drafting my Will?
How To Find The Right Solicitor When Making a Will (2024) | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

How Much Does A Will Cost?

The cost of drafting a Will can vary significantly. The cost is influenced by factors such as the complexity of your estate, the solicitor’s expertise, and the level of personalised service.

Understanding the fee structure and associated costs is essential for making an informed decision.

Fee Structures Explained

Flat Fees:

Many solicitors offer flat-fee arrangements for straightforward Wills. This fee structure is beneficial for its predictability. It allows you to know exactly how much the service will cost from the outset.

However, it’s important to clarify what is included in this fee. Find out whether there might be additional charges for more complex requirements.

Hourly Rates:

For more complex estates, solicitors may charge an hourly rate. Ask for an estimate of the hours needed to draft your Will. Discuss any factors that could affect this estimate.

Understanding the potential range of costs can help you budget accordingly.

Additional Services:

Inquire about the costs associated with additional services. For example, learn more about estate planning consultations, tax advice, or setting up trusts. These services can be integral to comprehensive estate planning but may incur additional fees.

Questions to Clarify Costs

  • Can you provide a detailed breakdown of your fees for Will-making services?

  • Are there any potential additional costs I should be aware of?

  • How do you handle changes or updates to the Will once it’s drafted?

How To Find The Right Solicitor When Making a Will (2024) | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Matching Your Needs With The Right Solicitor

Finding a solicitor who you trust is as important as their legal expertise. Your solicitor should only understand the legal framework. They should also appreciate your personal circumstances, wishes, and the legacy you want to leave behind.

Personal Fit and Comfort:

Choose a solicitor who takes the time to understand your unique situation. Make sure they show genuine interest in achieving the best outcome for you and your beneficiaries. A good rapport and open communication lines are essential for ensuring your Will reflects your wishes.

Tailored Advice and Service:

Your estate and family dynamics are unique. The right solicitor offers tailored advice, considering all aspects of your life and how they impact your estate planning.

Whether it’s providing for minor children, addressing business interests, or navigating complex family situations, the solicitor should demonstrate a willingness to craft a Will that addresses these nuances.

Availability and Support:

Consider the solicitor’s availability to address your questions and provide updates during the process. A solicitor who is readily accessible and supportive can make the experience less daunting and more reassuring.

The Role of the Solicitor in Drafting Your Will

Choosing a solicitor to draft your Will is a decision that impacts many factors. It’s not just abut the legal validity of the document, but also how effectively it represents your intentions.

The role of a solicitor extends far beyond mere drafting. They serve as advisors, guides, and sometimes mediators. Their involvement ensures that your estate is managed and distributed according to your wishes.

Advisory Role on Legal and Tax Implications:

A proficient solicitor provides invaluable advice on the legal nuances and tax implications related to your estate.

This includes guidance on minimising potential inheritance tax through strategic planning and the use of exemptions and reliefs.

They can also advise on the legal mechanisms to address specific concerns. These include the care of a dependent with special needs or the management of overseas assets.

Customised Estate Planning Strategies:

Every individual’s situation is unique, requiring personalised estate planning. A skilled solicitor assesses your specific circumstances. These include family dynamics, business interests, and charitable inclinations. They can offer tailored strategies that align with your objectives.

This bespoke approach ensures that your Will comprehensively covers all aspects of your estate. As a result, it provides clarity and direction for the execution of your wishes.

Mediation and Conflict Resolution:

Solicitors often play a crucial role in mediating family dynamics and potential conflicts. They make sure your Will is structured in a way that minimises disputes among beneficiaries.

Their expertise in probate law allows them to anticipate issues that might arise. Therefore, they can suggest solutions that help maintain harmony within the family.

Updating Your Will: How To Protect Your Best Interests

Life is dynamic. Significant events such as marriage, divorce, the birth of children, or the acquisition of substantial assets need updates to your Will. These allow it to reflect your current wishes and circumstances. Understanding how to properly update your Will is crucial for maintaining its relevance and effectiveness.

Codicils for Minor Amendments:

For small changes or additions to your Will, a codicil can be used.

This document is legally binding. It must be signed and witnessed with the same formalities as the original Will. Codicils are useful for making straightforward amendments without the need to draft a new Will.

Revoking and Redrafting for Major Changes:

In cases of significant life changes, it may be more appropriate to revoke the existing Will and draft a new one. This ensures clarity and avoids any potential contradictions between documents.

The revocation must be explicit. It can be done by physically destroying the original document or by stating the intention to revoke the new Will.

Regular Reviews with Your Solicitor:

It’s advisable to review your Will periodically with your solicitor. This is crucial after major life events or changes in the legal landscape. These reviews provide an opportunity to reassess your estate planning strategy and make necessary adjustments. As a result, your Will can always reflect your current wishes and circumstances.

​​When making a Will, it’s easy for your intentions to be misinterpreted (especially without legal guidance). Listen to Kevin O’Higgins’ recent advice on drafting a will alongside an experienced solicitor.

How To Find The Right Solicitor When Making a Will (2024) | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors: Create Your Will With Confidence

Writing a Will is a big decision. It’s how you ensure your belongings and savings go to the people you love after you’re gone. But in Ireland, making a Will can seem complex because of all the legal rules. That’s where having the right help makes a difference.

At Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors, we specialise in making the process easy to understand. We listen to what you want and work hard to make sure your Will matches your wishes.

Whether you’re setting up a new Will or updating an old one, we explain everything in simple terms & ensure you feel comfortable and confident about your decisions.

Kevin O’Higgins is skilled at organising the legal details, making sure your Will is clear and does exactly what you need it to do for your family.

Thinking about making a Will or have questions about where to start? Read our new FAQ guide on Making a Will in Ireland. Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors is dedicated to creating a Will that reflects your wishes accurately, offering security for what matters most to you.

For peace of mind through every step of the process, contact Kevin today. 

How To Find The Right Solicitor When Making a Will (2024) | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors
Making a Will in Ireland: Your Complete FAQ Guide for 2024

Making a Will in Ireland: Your Complete FAQ Guide for 2024

Introduction: Protecting Your Legacy

Making a will in Ireland is a crucial step in planning for the future, yet it’s a task many of us hesitate to address. It involves facing our own mortality and making important decisions about what happens to our possessions after we’re gone.


A will is not just a legal requirement; it’s a practical tool for clearly stating your wishes regarding your estate, which includes your property, finances, and personal belongings.


If you have children, especially minors, a will allows you to appoint guardians and ensure their future is secure. For those living with a partner but not married, owning a home, or running a business, a will is essential to manage your assets and dictate their distribution. It’s also critical for anyone going through major life changes, like marriage or divorce, as these events often necessitate changes to your estate plans.

Within this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about making a will in Ireland. You’ll learn why it’s important, how it can help manage inheritance tax, and what the process involves, including choosing executors and understanding the role of an Enduring Power of Attorney. Our objective is to provide clear, straightforward information to help you make an informed decision about your will.

Professional legal advice is often necessary to navigate the complexities of will-making. Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors offers expert guidance to ensure your will accurately reflects your wishes and complies with legal standards.

Making A Will in Ireland: Your Complete FAQ Guide for 2024 | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

“Why Do I Need a Will?”

Understanding the importance of having a will is crucial for several key reasons:

Personalised Estate Distribution

A will provides the opportunity to distribute your estate according to your personal wishes. Without a will, your assets and possessions are divided according to default legal rules under the Succession Act 1965. This may not reflect your unique relationships or circumstances. A will enables you to specify beneficiaries for particular assets, ensuring that your estate is distributed precisely as you intend.

Protection and Provision for Children and Dependents

If you have children, especially minors, it’s vital to consider their future in the event of your absence. A will allows you to appoint guardians who will care for your children, making decisions about their upbringing, education, and welfare. Additionally, you can set up trusts in your will to manage and protect financial provisions for your children until they reach an age where they can manage these assets themselves.

Cohabiting Couples

For those living with a partner but not married or in a civil partnership, the law does not automatically recognise your partner as a beneficiary of your estate. A will is essential to ensure that your partner is provided for according to your wishes, as they might otherwise receive nothing under the rules of intestacy.

Complex Asset Management

Homeowners and business owners often face complex considerations when planning their estate. A will is crucial for outlining how these assets should be handled, potentially simplifying the legal process for your heirs and ensuring that your business can continue or be disposed of according to your wishes.

Life Changes and Updates

Significant life events such as marriage, divorce, or entering a civil partnership often necessitate changes to your estate plans. A will can be updated to reflect these changes, ensuring that your current circumstances and relationships are accurately represented in how your estate is managed and distributed.

Reducing Family Disputes

A well-crafted will can significantly reduce the potential for misunderstandings or disputes among family members. By clearly outlining your wishes, a will provides a roadmap for the distribution of your estate, which can help prevent conflicts during a time of grief.

Tax Planning

A will can be a tool for effective tax planning. With proper legal advice, you can structure your will in a way that minimises the inheritance tax burden on your beneficiaries, thereby maximising the value of the estate they receive.


In summary, making a will is about taking control of your estate and ensuring that your final wishes are respected. It’s a vital document for anyone who wants to provide for their loved ones, manage their assets responsibly, and leave a clear, unambiguous record of their intentions.

Making A Will in Ireland: Your Complete FAQ Guide for 2024 | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

“How Do I Make a Will?”

Creating a valid will in Ireland involves several key steps:

Meet Legal Criteria

You must be over 18 years old (or married) and of sound mind. Being of sound mind means understanding the nature of the will and its consequences, and having an awareness of the assets you possess and whom you want to benefit from them.

Document in Writing

Your will must be a written document. It can be typed or handwritten, but it must clearly state your intentions regarding the distribution of your estate.

Comprehensive Asset Listing

Include detailed information about all your assets. This should cover everything from properties and investments to savings and personal possessions. If you own assets abroad, consider how different countries’ laws might affect your will, as some assets might require separate wills under different jurisdictions.

Selecting Executors and Guardians

Choose one or more executors who will carry out the instructions in your will. If you have minor children, appointing guardians in your will is essential. Ensure these individuals are trustworthy and capable of managing the responsibilities.


Your will must be signed in the presence of two independent witnesses, who must also sign the document. These witnesses cannot be beneficiaries of the will to avoid conflicts of interest.

Professional Legal Advice

While it’s possible to draft a will on your own, consulting with a solicitor ensures that all legal requirements are met and your will is comprehensive. A solicitor can also advise on complex issues like tax implications and provide guidance on structuring your will to best meet your intentions.

Regular Updates

Life changes such as marriage, divorce, having children, or acquiring significant assets warrant a review and potential update of your will. Keeping your will up-to-date ensures that it always reflects your current wishes and circumstances.


Creating a will is a proactive step in managing your estate and ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. It provides clarity and peace of mind, not just for you but also for your loved ones. 

Making A Will in Ireland: Your Complete FAQ Guide for 2024 | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Preparing Your Will: What Does My Solicitor Need?

When preparing your will with a solicitor, having the right information ready is crucial for a comprehensive and legally sound document:

Personal Identification

Basic information like your full name, current address, date of birth, and nationality helps in clearly identifying you as the testator.

Family and Dependent Details

Information about your spouse or civil partner, children, or any other dependents. This includes their names, addresses, dates of birth, and the nature of your relationship with them.

Detailed Asset Inventory

A thorough list of your assets, including properties, bank accounts, investments, valuable personal items, and any business interests. Also, disclose liabilities such as loans or debts.

Specific Bequests

Detailed instructions on who should inherit specific items or sums of money. This can include both monetary assets and sentimental items.

Executor and Guardian Choices

Names and contact details of your chosen executor(s) and, if applicable, guardians for any minor children. Include why you have chosen these individuals and any specific instructions related to their roles.

Funeral Wishes

Though not legally binding, expressing your preferences for funeral arrangements can be included in the will for guidance.

Special Circumstances

Details of any unique situations, such as previous marriages, children from different relationships, or international assets, which may require special consideration in estate planning.

Legal Rights and Provisions

Awareness of any statutory entitlements or legal provisions that may affect your will, particularly concerning spouses, civil partners, and children.


Providing this comprehensive information enables your solicitor to draft a will that accurately reflects your wishes and ensures that all legal aspects are appropriately addressed.

Making A Will in Ireland: Your Complete FAQ Guide for 2024 | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Amending a Will: What You Should Know

Amending your will is not only possible but often necessary as life circumstances change:

Codicils for Minor Changes

For small updates or changes, such as altering a bequest or changing an executor, you can add a codicil to your will. A codicil is a supplementary document that must be executed with the same legal formalities as the original will, including being signed and witnessed.

Creating a New Will for Major Changes

Significant life events, like the birth of a new child, marriage, or acquiring substantial property, may necessitate a complete revision of your will. In such cases, drafting a new will is advisable. This new will should explicitly state that it revokes all previous wills and codicils.

Consult a Solicitor for Amendments

Making amendments to your will can be complex, particularly when ensuring that the changes are legally valid and don’t inadvertently affect other provisions of the will. A solicitor can provide valuable guidance in this process, ensuring that your amended will accurately reflects your current wishes and remains legally sound.


Regularly reviewing and updating your will is crucial to ensure that it continues to reflect your current situation and wishes accurately. This proactive approach can prevent potential legal complications and ensure that your estate is managed as you intend.

Making A Will in Ireland: Your Complete FAQ Guide for 2024 | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

The Risks of DIY Wills: Why Professional Legal Advice Matters

 Creating a will without a solicitor can introduce several risks and complications:

Legal Validity Concerns

A will must meet specific legal criteria to be valid. This includes correct execution, clear language, and appropriate witnessing. Any oversight in these areas can render the will invalid or open to legal challenges.

Complexity in Asset Distribution

Particularly for those with substantial or diverse assets, including those overseas, drafting a will can be complex. A solicitor can help navigate these complexities, ensuring all assets are appropriately accounted for and planned.

Risk of Ambiguities

Without professional legal advice, there’s a higher risk of ambiguous wording or incomplete clauses, which can lead to disputes among beneficiaries or misinterpretation of your intentions.

Updating and Amending

Understanding how and when to update a will is crucial. A solicitor can advise on the impact of life changes on your will and help ensure any amendments are legally sound.

Tax Implications

Inheritance tax considerations and opportunities for tax planning can be intricate. A solicitor can provide advice on how to structure your estate efficiently to minimise the tax burden on your beneficiaries.


While it’s possible to create a will independently, the benefits of legal guidance in ensuring the will’s validity and effectiveness are significant.

Making A Will in Ireland: Your Complete FAQ Guide for 2024 | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Why Use a Solicitor When Making Your Will?

A solicitor provides crucial assistance in the will-making process:

Ensure Legal Compliance

Solicitors have the expertise to ensure your will meets all legal requirements, safeguarding against potential disputes or invalidity.

Tailored Estate Planning Advice

They offer personalised advice considering your unique family dynamics, asset portfolio, and future plans. This can include strategies for asset distribution, guardian appointments for children, and provisions for dependents.

Complex Situations

For those with assets in multiple countries or complicated family situations, solicitors can provide valuable guidance on international estate laws and family law considerations.

Tax Efficient Planning

A solicitor can help you understand the tax implications of your estate and advice on structuring your will to optimise tax efficiency.

Updating and Amending Your Will

Legal professionals can assist in updating your will in response to life changes, ensuring that these amendments comply with legal standards and reflect your current wishes.


A solicitor’s involvement in making your will can provide peace of mind that your estate will be managed and distributed as you intend, with consideration given to all legal and personal aspects.

Listen to Kevin O’Higgins’ recent advice on drafting a will alongside an experienced solicitor.

Making A Will in Ireland: Your Complete FAQ Guide for 2024 | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

What Happens if I Don’t Make a Will?

Dying without a will (intestate) leads to your estate being distributed according to standard legal procedures, which may not align with your personal wishes:

Legal Distribution of Assets

In the absence of a will, your estate is distributed based on the rules of intestacy outlined in the Succession Act 1965. This often results in a standard division of assets among surviving family members.

Impact on Unmarried Partners

For cohabiting partners not in a civil partnership or marriage, the lack of a will means they are not automatically entitled to any part of your estate, potentially leading to financial hardship.

Guardianship of Minor Children

Without a will specifying guardianship, decisions about the care of your minor children are left to the courts. This may result in arrangements that don’t align with your preferences.

Potential for Family Disputes

The absence of clear directives can lead to disputes among family members, complicating and prolonging the estate settlement process.

State Claims on Estate

Where no legal heirs can be identified, your estate could ultimately be claimed by the state.


Having a will in place ensures that your estate is managed and distributed according to your specific wishes, providing clarity and direction during a difficult time.

Making A Will in Ireland: Your Complete FAQ Guide for 2024 | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Conclusion: Securing Your Future

The creation of a will is an essential step in safeguarding your legacy and ensuring your wishes are honoured. It’s more than a legal requirement; it’s a crucial plan for the future of your estate, providing clear direction on how your assets, from family heirlooms to business interests, should be managed and distributed. A well-crafted will offers peace of mind, not only to you but also to your loved ones, ensuring that there are no uncertainties or disputes regarding your estate.


At Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors, we understand the intricacies of will-making and are committed to guiding you through every step of this important process. Our expertise covers everything from straightforward wills to more complex estate planning involving international assets or specific tax considerations. We are dedicated to ensuring that your final testament truly reflects your personal wishes and provides for your loved ones most effectively.


For tailored advice and support, contact Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors today. We can assist you in creating a will that not only meets legal standards but also serves as a lasting testament to your life and values, offering assurance and clarity for the future.

Making A Will in Ireland: Your Complete FAQ Guide for 2024 | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors