When to make a will

Many resources online and elsewhere tell how how to make a will, and explain the process involved. Few however tell you when to make a will – i.e. explain the major milestones in your life when it is best to create or update your instructions for how your estate should be distributed following your passing.

At Valerie Cotter & Co. Solicitors here in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny, we recommend making or updating your will at the following times:

  • When you get married – All former wills are automatically revoked when you marry, and your new spouse becomes entitled by default to your entire estate should you pass away. If you wish to leave other instructions to also include other beneficiaries, you need to make a new will following marriage.
  • If your marital status changes – i.e. if you go through judicial separation or divorce. You may no longer wish to bequeath property to your former spouse, and your will must be updated to say so.
  • When you have children – Starting a family or adding to it changes your personal circumstances in many ways, including how you may wish to distribute your estate following your passing.
  • When you purchase property – Your new asset should now also be included in your will.
  • When you are in a long-term relationship, but are not married – Your partner will not be automatically entitled to anything should you die intestate (i.e. without leaving a will), and your estate will be distributed amongst blood relations instead. Should you wish to leave your partner assets of any type, you must explicitly say so in a will.

Making a will and keep it updated as personal circumstances change is something that many people fail to do, as none of us like to think about our own death and what will follow. However, it is crucial to do so in order to have the peace of mind that our loved ones will be looked after as we wish after we are gone.

At Valerie Cotter & Co. Solicitors, we provide an expert and professional will-making service, which includes advice on how best to minimise inheritance tax liabilities for those you leave behind. We ensure that as much of your estate as possible goes to those you love most, and as little as possible goes to Revenue.

Contact us at any time for further advice, or to make or update your will.