However, that is exactly the risk you take if you die without having made a will.
In Ireland, many people take this risk. A recent survey by Royal London of 1,000 Irish adults showed that only 3 in 10 had a will in place.
If you die without having made a will, you are said to have died intestate. In such a case, if you are married or in a civil partnership, the entirety of your estate will pass to your civil partner or spouse, if you have no children.
If you are married with children, then your spouse or civil partner will receive two-thirds of the value of your estate, with your children receiving the remaining one-third.
A troubling situation
However, if you die intestate and you are not married or in a civil partnership with a loved one, there is no guarantee that they will inherit your estate – a troubling situation which has caused serious problems for grieving loved ones in the past.
Only those who have a right to take a share in the estate have the right to take out a grant of administration – that is, to distribute the estate. That means that, potentially, someone whom you might have expected to benefit from your estate may not be legally entitled to.
Having a will means that these issues need not be a factor in the event of your death. You can decide how your estate is distributed after your death, having died testate.
Trustees and guardians
Making a will involves appointing an executor to administer your estate in any way that you choose, and can include scenarios where trustees are appointed to look after your estate until children reach the age of 18, and a guardian appointed to look after children until they reach adulthood.
Having a will ties up any loose ends that may exist among the people who are and are not legally entitled to a share of your estate.
Of course, it is inevitable that we will die. However, leaving behind a messy situation for loved ones is most certainly not inevitable, and can be dealt with by making a will as soon as possible.
The size of your estate doesn’t matter. What is most important is to speak to a solicitor to capture your wishes for your beneficiaries.
Ensuring the financial well-being of your loved ones is an important consideration.
Another consideration, of no less value, is the emotional acknowledgement that a will brings. Bequeathing sentimental items, such as photos, a piece of furniture or a book, can go a long way to helping the bereaved process the grief of your passing.
Contact us if you’d like to discuss your will. Our team will discuss your requirements confidentially and sensitively.
22 January 2018