Maeve Binchy’s family and friends benefit from €10m will

‘Chestnut Street’ is vintage Maeve Binchy, bearing all the hallmarks of her storytelling; humour, wit, insight and understanding. Photo: Camera Press/Sean Smith

The late novelist Maeve Binchy left behind a €10m will which she divided generously among family and friends.

The widely-respected author died in 2012 at the age of 72 and a report in today’s Sunday Times reveals how her fortune was allocated.

Binchy, who published her first novel in 1982, went onto sell more than 40 million books worldwide, stated in her nine page will that one-third of her estate was to be divided among family, friends, colleagues, charities and a Dublin golf club.

The will was filed in Dublin’s probate office last week and reveals that 29 of her closest friends were left €10,000 each, with 18 sharing one-sixth of her estate after taxes and funeral costs were paid.

The remainder two-thirds of her estate, homes in Dublin and London and her complete literary works were left to her husband Gordon Snell.

The author spoke publicly on a number of occasions about the importance of her will and stated in an interview in 2000 that it was something she spent considerable time at.

“I’m a great will-maker,” she said at the time. “I’ve made a will every year since I was 21.”

Friends have revealed that the best-selling author kept a record of jewellery that her friends admired and noted this in the final will.

The one-third allocated to friends and families was divided into two funds. The first was for relatives including here sister Joan, brother William and nieces and nephews.

The other half went to 18 friends and charities as well as the 29 friends that received €10,000 each.

The Marie Curie Memorial Foundation, St. Luke’s Hospital and Foxrock Golf Club were among those to receive a windfall from the will.

The former Irish Times columnist was a best-selling author worldwide and was a huge success in particular in the American market where Oprah Winfrey was among her biggest supporters.

As well as selling more than 40 million books, Circle of Friends and Tara Road were made into films.

Binchy died in the Blackrock Clinic in July 2012, with A Week in Winter published shortly afterwards.