Wednesday 20 September 2017

Legal row fears as just one in three adults has made a will

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

JUST one-third of adults have made a will, leaving their families vulnerable to disputes when they die.

There is a risk of a bitter legal row for the family of those who die without having made a will.

And the State may end up making decisions about the distribution of assets for those who have not left a will, charity MyLegacy said yesterday.

Many of those who have not made a will intend to do so, but have not got around to arranging it, the charity says.

Now MyLegacy, a coalition of more than 70 charities, has arranged for solicitors around the country to offer consultations for a flat fee of €50 so people can make a will.

The organisation is hoping this will spur people to make a bequest to charity.

Chair of MyLegacy and head of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Susan O'Dwyer said: "In the absence of a will, there can be bitter legal disputes and the possibility of the State having to make decisions regarding the distribution of your property and assets."

Tough

Ms O'Dwyer said charities were aware that times were tough but Irish people continued to give what they could to charities. "Legacy donations in wills, regardless of how large or small, are an extremely valuable source of income to charities. Every gift in a will makes a long lasting difference," she added.

People in higher socio-economic groups are more likely to have a will compared with low-income people, the research conducted by Amarach among 1,000 adults for MyLegacy found.

Men are more likely to want to change their will than women, but this decreases with age.

Only half of those between the ages of 45 and 64 have made a will, but four-fifths of those over 65 have made one.

See www.mylegacy.ie for a list of participating solicitors and charities.

Irish Independent

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