Wills in Ireland

By Laura Myers

Irish law concerning wills is governed by the Succession Act of 1965. This law is equally applied in all parts of the country. The purpose of a will in Ireland is the same as in most other jurisdictions: a legal means of allowing the testator to decide how his property will be disposed of after his death. It also allows him to appoint a guardian for his children and an executor for his estate. For an Irish will to be legal, all essential elements must be present, and it must conform to all relevant laws.


According to Lawyer.ie, the testator must be at least 18 years old; if not, he must either be married or have previously been married. In addition, he must have the mental capacity to understand that he is making his last will. The mental capacity is often legally verified by a sworn declaration from either a solicitor or a doctor who was present at the time that the will was signed. The testator must also act freely when writing his will, and not have any undue influence from anyone.


To be valid in Ireland, Lawyer.ie states that a will should contain the testator’s name and address, a clause revoking other wills, a clause nominating an executor, a clause appointing a guardian for any children, a list of bequests, a clause to dispose of anything that remains and the signature of the testator. The testator’s signature should be placed after all other components other than the signatures of witnesses.

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A will requires two adult witnesses who must observe the signing of the document by the testator. They must then sign an attestation clause below the testator’s signature. This attestation clause should state that both witnesses observed the testator sign the last will and testament. The printed names and addresses of the witnesses are written beneath their signatures.


Ireland's laws of intestacy will apply to the estate if a person dies intestate, or without a will, notes Damian Nolan Co. For example, if a testator has no children but is married, all of his property will be transferred to his spouse. However, if the testator is married with children, one-third of the estate will go to his spouse and the rest will be shared equally by his children.

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