66% of people in Ireland do not have a will

Recent research shows only 34% of adults in Ireland have made a will

Solicitorsand charities in Ireland are joining forces next week to promote the importance of making a will, regardless of your age, and to encourage people to think of leaving something to charity once their loved ones have been looked after.

Recent research shows only 34% of adults in Ireland have made a will, and while 82% of those over 65 years have a will, only 51% of those aged 45 – 64 years of age and 26% of those aged 35 – 44 years have organised one.


During ‘Best Will in the World Week’, which runs from October 21-25 and is supported by 80 charities who form part of the MyLegacy organisation, 400 solicitors across Ireland are offering members of the public a will consultation to discuss a new or existing will for a flat fee of €50. (Participating solicitors can be viewed on  www.bestwill.ie)

“The time for making a will is now,” said Leo Mangan from Mangan O’Beirne Solicitors, at the launch of Best Will in the World Week. “It is easier and cheaper than most people believe. Without a will, problems, both legal and personal, can be expensive and endless. A will allows a person to decide who they wish to benefit. 

“If possible, as well as benefiting family, it can be good to provide a bequest to charity, and everyone has a charity close to their heart.”

Irish charities

Charitable donations in wills are the foundation of many Irish charities, generating nearly €26 million per year, but Susan O’Dwyer, chairperson of MyLegacy and CEO, Make-A-Wish Foundation says the culture of leaving a gift in your will to a favourite charity is in its infancy in Ireland.


“Many people just don’t realise that they can give money to charities in this way. However, the reality is that after looking after friends and family, a small share of whatever is left can make a long lasting difference to charities and the invaluable work they do,” she said.

“We believe that this campaign gives people the opportunity to get cost effective, practical and impartial advice on will making, easing practical and financial issues for loved ones later on. We encourage people to consider leaving a gift to their favourite charity, which can be a wonderfully fulfilling experience that in turn can benefit countless people after they are gone.

“But in order to do this, the first step is to make a will or change your existing will.”



44% of those who have not made a will intend to do so within the next five years.

37% of those in higher socio-economic groups have made a will in comparison to only 30% from more disadvantaged groups.

Just over 30% would like to make a donation to charity in their will, Men (at 30%) are equally as likely as women (at 32%) to want to make a donation to charity.

Only 26% aged between 45 – 64 years would consider leaving a gift to a charity at that stage in their lives.

Almost 70% of people who would like to leave a gift to charity in their will said that their families would be comfortable with this.

44% said they would be motivated to leave a gift to charity by a family member having an illness associated with a particular charity, 33% by a personal experience of a charity, 33% by the availability of money at their disposal at the time and 34% by their belief in and support for a charity’s ethos.