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A Home-made Will? The Savings Can Be Costly

by | Apr 16, 2021 | Case Studies, News, Probate and Wills | 0 comments

The case of a neighbour of ours who drafted a home-make will that lead to a significant amount of litigation has recently been heavily publicised in the national media.

Maureen McEnroe lived on the same street as our offices. Maureen, a single lady without children, executed her home-made pre-printed will in 2005. Maureen passed away in 2017 leaving an estate of €1.08 million. Maureen made three small alterations to her will after it was executed. Unfortunately, these alterations were not correctly executed and this led to significant difficulties in proving her will.

Maureen’s sister, the beneficiary under the will made an application for a Grant of Probate. The High Court Ordered that the application should be made on notice to those who would inherit under the rules of intestacy. Maureen’s sister appealed the High Court decision to the Court of Appeal. It was decided by the Court of Appeal that the rest of the will save for the amendments, some of which were illegible, was valid.

It is notable that three years after Maureen’s death and following two expensive superior court applications her estate is not yet distributed. The small sum Maureen saved in making and later amending her homemade will would have been lost many times over by the necessity to make such applications.  The costs of any litigation arising out of an estate are paid for out of the estate itself. This is also so in the case of applications made by dis-inherited children, to see more on this click here.

This case highlights the importance of having a professional draft your will.

If this story affected you or you have a similar concern please contact us.

Please note for privacy and GDPR reasons names and circumstances have been changed to protect the identity of the individuals involved.

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John and his team were extraordinarily helpful in dealing with the estate of my mother and obtaining probate. All... queries were answered promptly and comprehensively. Made the process very easy at a difficult time.read more
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