Money Doctor launches low-cost wills service

A do-it-yourself will drafting service was started by personal finance commentator John Lowe.

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

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

He said writing a will should be a straightforward exercise for the majority of Irish people.

This is because most of the people have simple financial situations. They usually have one or two properties, a few bank accounts, alternative assets such as a car, a watch, and art.

“In addition, the vast majority of citizens have simple relationships. For these citizens, writing your own will couldn’t be easier.

He said the new service will allow people to safely write their own wills and set up a structure where their representatives are empowered to process probate granting.

There is no need to involve the legal profession, other than the transfer of ownership, in this process, he said.

Those 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 at www.moneydoctors.ie/wills.

It costs € 50, plus 23 pc VAT, bringing the total to € 61.50.

Mr Lowe, who operates as Money Doctor, said the majority of lawyers charge minimal fees for drafting wills.

“However, they never let you know what the probate estimate costs will be when you die. They also usually keep the original copy of the will – necessary for probate granting. “

Mr Lowe said that means the executor must visit the attorney with the will when the person dies.

He said some probate specialists and attorneys charge an hourly rate for probate processing, while others charge a fee that is a percentage of the estate’s value. These costs are generally calculated between 1pc and 5pc of the value of the estate, plus VAT.

Those who use the Money Doctor service are encouraged to ensure that they or their loved ones keep the original copy of the will and notify their representatives where this original copy is kept, as it will be needed during probate processing.

He said: “I have seen a probate fee 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 when the estate is less than 1.5 million euros and there is no relationship complication. “

A low cost will drafting service is also offered by lawyer Susan Murphy at MakeMyWill.ie.

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