Why make a Will?
If you own a house or any other real property, or any share certificates, then whoever inherits these from you will need to have a “Grant of Probate” in order to transfer the property into their name. Having a proper Will is the only way to ensure that an executor is appointed whose job it is to look after the Probate application. This will make things simpler for everyone.
If you have children, then you should consider making a Will in order to appoint a “testamentary guardian”, to whom you would delegate responsibility in case of your death.
Finally, you may wish to consider leaving a legacy to a registered charity.
How do I go about making a Will?
A good place to start is to complete a personal assets record – click here to download a PdF version to fill in. Bring this with you when you come to make your Will.
Next, you should decide who your executors will be. It is best to appoint two executors.
If you have children, consider the appointment of a testamentary guardian.
Finally, make an appointment to see your solicitor.
Who will inherit my property if I don’t make a Will?
If you die without a valid Will, then your property will be divided according to the “rules for distribution on intestacy” that are contained in Part VI of the Succession Act of 1965. These are as follows:
- The entire estate goes to the spouse (if the person has no “issue”, in other words no children or grandchildren), or
- Two thirds goes to the spouse and one third goes to any issue between them, or
- The estate is divided equally among the issue if there is no spouse
- NOTE: If the estate goes entirely or partly to the issue of the deceased, it would be divided between them “per stirpes”, in other words, if a child of the deceased had died before him, leaving children of his own, those children, would take their parent’s share between them.
- If the deceased had no spouse and no issue, then the estate goes to the parent or parents,
- If the deceased had no spouse, no issue, and no parents alive, then estate is divided among any siblings. If any siblings have died before the deceased, then their children (if any) take their parent’s share between them (“per stirpes”), or
- If the deceased had no spouse, no issue, no parents, and no brothers or sisters alive at the date of death, then the estate is divided between any nieces and nephews.
- If there are no nieces or nephews, then the estate is divided among “next of kin”, ie the next nearest blood relatives the person had.
- If there are no known blood relatives, then ultimately the state would take the person’s estate.