Wills are the way to go
Kerry Clear is a solicitor with a practice on Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green and, unsurprisingly, perhaps, she is down on the DIY option.
“There is a perception that drawing up your own will does not require a great deal of skill and that is not the case,” she says.
“There is also this idea that one size fits all and that is not the case either. A will totally depends on your life circumstances and people need to remember that it is not a reflection of what are your assets but what your responsibilities are.”
She has trawled the web looking for online will options and most of what she has found deal with the legal framework in the UK rather than in Ireland.
“Sometimes you get people who do their own wills but don’t have them witnessed properly.
“You need two witnesses who have to be with you at the time you all sign the will and they can not be beneficiaries.”
She also cautions that as circumstances change, the nature of a will changes.
“If you get married, any will you made before that point is completely invalid. Once you are married you can’t decide to leave everything to someone else other than your spouse unless you agree otherwise.”
The bottom line – and an imminently sensible one – is that a will (be it a professionally drawn up one by a solicitor ‘or a DIY deal) makes things easier for people you leave behind.
WHERE THERE'S A WILL THERE'S A WAY TO MAKE THINGS WORK: CHARITIES BENEFIT FROM UNUSUAL BEQUESTS DOWN THE AGES
In 1835, a sailor left a parrot to St Vincent’s Hospital to be auctioned for the hospital. We have no idea how much Polly fetched.
H AVE A HEART
Croí was left a legacy with the request that the charity buy cardiac equipment for the Aran Islands. It was duly bought and presented to island GP Dr Marion Broderick.
St Patrick’s Hospital (Psychiatric) was founded as a result of a legacy left in Jonathan Swift’s will.
The Irish Heart Foundation was left an Italian shoe show.
The Abbey (previously the National Theatre Society) received a donation of £10,300 between 1904 and 1910 – the equivalent to €4 million today, from Annie Horniman (of the Horniman tea family). She also donated a Horniman’s teapot.
CRAFTY WITH COPYRIGHT
Playwright Lennox Robinson left all his copyright in his work to his wife when he died and after to the director of the National Theatre Society.
An Taisce received a gift of Kanturk Castle in Cork.
Oxfam UK has received gold teeth, a dentist’s chair, greyhounds and shares in the original Woolwich Arsenal Football Club.