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By Conal McGarrity
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Making a Will – Your Questions Answered

Making a Will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign. Having a Will allows you to clearly set out your wishes when you die, such as what happens to your assets, how they are divided, and who will look after your children. A Will gives you peace of mind that your affairs are in order when you die. If you do not make a Will, the law will decide who inherits your estate. The topic of wills is not an easy subject to talk about, most of us put it off, some unfortunately until it is too late.

At P.A. Duffy & Company Solicitors, we specalise in drawing up wills and ensuring that all of your wishes are clearly executed. As a Solicitor and qualified Trust and Estate Practitioner, Kieran Quinn answers some of the most frequently asked questions about wills and allocating your estate.

Q. I’m worried that making a Will might be expensive?

A will is very inexpensive in comparison to what could happen to your estate if you do not have a will.  The cost depends on whether it is a single will or a pair of joint wills.

Q. Do I need a solicitor to write my Will?

We recommend that you use a solicitor when making your Will. Wills are extremely important and having an experienced solicitor involved will ensure that your Will is legal and valid.A poorly drafted Will can result in additional and unnecessary expense and potential disputes among beneficiaries. A professionally drafted Will should be seen as the right safeguard for your family’s future, while providing you with peace of mind.

Q. Should my partner and I make separate Wills?

Yes, joint Wills are rare and problematic.

Q. How will my partner and children be affected if I die without a Will?

If you die without a will this is called dying intestate and your assets will be distributed under the Rules of Intestacy.  If you are not married or in a civil partnership your partner will not inherit any of your assets which are held in your sole name, instead they will pass directly to your children.  If you are married or in a civil partnership the first £250,000 of your estate will pass to your spouse along with all your personal possessions.  The remainder of your estate will be divided 50% to your spouse and 50% to your children in equal shares which they will receive at 18 years of age.  Jointly owned assets will pass to the joint owner if held as Joint Tenants but if they are held as Tenants in Common they too will be subject to the Rules of Intestacy.

Q. Do I need to make a Will if I don’t own a property but have children?

Yes, you should still make a will in this circumstance. By having a will you can ensure that your children are provided for financially when you die.  Another very important aspect of a will is the ability to state who the Guardians of your children will be – if you don’t have a will the Court will decide who your children live with.

Q. Who ensures my Will is settled as I wish?

Executors – These are the people you choose to deal with the administration of your estate after your death (those responsible for fulfilling your requests in your will). Executors can also be beneficiaries under your will and many people choose their spouse, civil partner, children, family members or friends.

Q. Can I make decisions about my funeral in my Will?

Yes, you can include any funeral wishes in your will. For instance, if you wish to be cremated or buried.

Q. Are stepchildren provided for if I don’t have a Will?

No, only biological and adopted children will inherit in accordance with the rules of intestacy if you don’t have a will.  You can only provide for stepchildren within your will.

Q. How can P.A. Duffy & Co. Solicitors help me make a Will?

At P.A. Duffy & Company Solicitors we provide a complete will-writing service, which includes:

  • a consultation with our Director, Kieran Quinn to discuss the preparation of a new will or the review of an existing one.

  • drafting your will in according to your instructions.

  • a consultation to finalise details and ensure your will is correctly signed

Should you wish to discuss drafting a Will or have any issues regarding Estate Planning please contact our office

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