Best Will Week takes place from 2 to 6 November. During the week, hundreds of solicitors around Ireland will be making time to meet with new and existing clients for initial will consultations. Best Will Week is encouraging people to take advantage of this opportunity; to learn about the importance of making a will from expert solicitors and also to consider leaving a gift to charity in a will after all other personal considerations have been decided.
Research revealed today, conducted on behalf of Edelman, shows that only three in every 10 Irish people have drafted a will in preparation for their death. Death is rarely a straightforward business and preparing for the future by getting important affairs in order gives peace of mind. As part of this preparation, engaging with a local solicitor on drafting or updating a will is vital. The research found that over a quarter of those surveyed have benefited from a will but, despite this, only 50% of Irish people have engaged with any of the practicalities around preparing for their own death, from making a will to discussing their wishes with family.
Best Will Week 2014 saw over 504 expert solicitors offer initial will consultations to Irish people.
When a person in Ireland dies without a will, their estate is divided among family members on the basis of rules laid down in the Succession Act 1965. If no beneficiaries can be found, the person’s estate, including property and savings, revert to the State’s intestate funds deposit account.
Will preparation is most popular with the over-55s demographic, with 57% having already drafted their will. The younger demographic are not yet engaging the process with two-thirds of those aged 25 to 34 not yet doing anything to prepare for their death, including drafting a will. Only one-fifth of 35 to 44-year-olds have prepared their wills.
“The number of Irish people who bequeath a gift to charity or indeed don’t prepare a will is quite low,” said Susan O’Dwyer, chair of MyLegacy.ie. “Leaving a gift to charity is a very meaningful experience that allows you to support a charity or cause you care about after you are gone.”