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Making or updating a Will during a Crisis

McKeever Rowan Solicitors © 2019 all rights reserved.
During a health emergency, paying attention to a current Will can provide some much-needed peace of mind.

The current Coronavirus pandemic has made many people across the country think about whether they should make a will or update their existing one.

What happens if I don’t have a will?

If you die without a will, the rules of intestacy determine how your estate will be distributed.

For example, if you are married with no children, your entire estate will pass to your spouse.

If you are married with children, your spouse will inherit two-thirds of your estate, and your children will inherit and remaining third (divided equally amongst themselves).

Why make a will?

Drawing up a will makes identifying beneficiaries and distributing the estate simpler for your loved ones.  A will also ensures that the proper arrangements that you desire are made after your death.

Social Distancing and Executing a Will

Currently in Ireland it is not possible to execute a will electronically.

The main provisions regarding wills are contained in the Succession Act 1965.  To be valid, amongst other requirements, a will must be in writing and must be executed following the rules below:

  • The will must be signed at the end by the testator or by some person present with and directed by the testator to sign on their behalf; and
  • The testator’s signature must be witnessed by two or more witnesses, present at the same time.

It is vital that anyone who is to benefit from the will does not witness it otherwise their gift will be null and void.

However, there are ways to stay safe while drawing up your will: for example, having each party wear gloves and using separate pens.


This article is a general review of the law on the subject and is not intended to be a complete statement of the law. Specific legal advice must be sought on a case by case basis. For further information, please contact Emma Ledford, Gillian Cusack or Sarah Fleming.

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