Why you need a Will

Everyone knows that they should have one but it one of those things that usually gets put at the bottom of the “must do” list. Having a will is important but not urgent. Unfortunately, when it does become urgent, it’s too late. To hurry you along, I’ll look at a couple of reasons why you need a will.

The default one is 50 years old

If you don’t write your own will, you get the State one under the Succession Act 1965. That’s a 50 year old template!! What does this template say:

  1. If you are married but have no children, your spouse gets everything.
  2. If you are married and have children, your spouse is entitled to 2/3 of your estate and your children get 1/3. Do you want your children owning 1/3 of your home etc, especially if they are still very young?
  3. If you don’t have a spouse or children, it goes in this order; parents, brothers & sisters, nieces & nephews, other relatives, the State.

Enduring Power of Attorney

There are currently 44,000 people in Ireland living with some form of dementia. And anyone can be in an accident at any time. If you lose your mental capacity at sometime in the future, you can no longer manage your financial affairs. You become a Ward of Court and an application has to made to the Wards of Court Office to access your money. If you have had to go through the courts before, you will know it is a time consuming process.

With a lot of couples, one spouse has sole control over the family assets. This is especially relevant in the case of retirees with ARF’s which cannot be held jointly.

By giving someone Enduring Power of Attorney, they can manage your financial and personal affairs for you but only if you lose the capacity to do so yourself.

I think those two reasons are enough for you to see why you need a will. All solicitors have templated wills already made up, so it is a very simple process in getting it written up. And remember, a will is an individual document, so you don’t have to agree with your spouse on where the assets go on your death.

If you have any questions, please contact me directly at steven@bluewaterfp.ie