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Wills service: financial adviser John Lowe

Wills service: financial adviser John Lowe

Wills service: financial adviser John Lowe

A do-it-yourself will writing service has been launched by personal finance commentator John Lowe.

Research shows that less than a third of adults have a will in place.

Mr Lowe, of MoneyDoctors.ie, says there is a reluctance to carry out what is he says is a really important function, especially if you have family.

He said writing a will should be a simple exercise for the majority of people in Ireland.

This is because most people have uncomplicated financial situations. They generally have one or two properties, a few bank accounts, some alternative assets such as a car, a watch, and some art.

“Also, the vast majority of citizens have uncomplicated relationships. For those citizens, drafting your own will could not be easier.”

He said the new service will enable people to securely draft their own will and put in place a structure where their representatives are empowered to process the grant of probate.

There is no need to involve the legal profession, outside of property conveyancing, in this process, he said.

People who opt for the new service will be able to order one of six will templates and accompanying documents in a do-it-yourself package from www.moneydoctors.ie/wills.

It costs €50, plus 23pc Vat, taking the total to €61.50.

Mr Lowe, who trades as the Money Doctor, said the majority of solicitors charge a small fee for drafting wills.

“However, they never let you know what the probate estimate costs will be when you pass on. They also generally keep the original copy of the will – needed for the grant of probate.”

Mr Lowe said this means the executor/executrix have to go to the solicitor holding the will when the person dies.

He said some probate specialists and solicitors charge an hourly rate for probate processing, while others charge a fee that is a percentage of the value of the estate. This fee is usually calculated as between 1pc to 5pc of the value of the estate, plus Vat.

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Those using the Money Doctor’s service are encouraged to ensure they or their loved ones keep the original copy of the will and let their representatives know where that original copy is kept as it will be needed when probate is being processed.

He said: “I have seen a probate charge of 3.5pc for the first €10,000 of the total estate value, 3pc for the second €10,000 and 2.5pc for the balance. This is simply unjustifiable, especially where the estate is less than €1.5m and there are no relationship complication.”

A low-cost will writing service is also offered by solicitor Susan Murphy at MakeMyWill.ie.


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