Wednesday, 1 November 2006
Dáil Eireann Debate
243. Mr. Dennehy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform  the percentage of the adult population who have made a will; and his views on a campaign to highlight the importance of making a will. [35412/06]
Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): No data are available on the percentage of the adult population that has made a will. However, the 2005 Annual Report of the Courts Service indicates that of the 15,671 applications made to the Probate Office in the year under review 11,328 (72.3%) were in respect of wills having been made and 4,343 (27.7%) were in cases without a will having been made.
The policy of the Succession Act 1965 ensures particular distributions of the estate of a deceased person whether or not a will is made and whether or not there are any children of the deceased. The Legal Aid Board provides a leaflet on the making of a will and the Courts Service provides a leaflet on the service provided by its Probate Office. The contents of both leaflets may be accessed on their respective websites. In addition, the Citizens Information website — provided by Comhairle — gives comprehensive information on the subject.
The Deputy will be aware that solicitors are normally in the best position to advise their clients on the merits of making a will and the need for care in doing so. The Law Society has, on occasion, promoted the case for making a will.
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