Fianna Fáil Senator Terry Leyden has called for cross party support as his Bill, the Registration of Wills Bill 2016, is brought into the Seanad tomorrow. The Bill seeks to provide a clear statutory basis for the registration of wills and will enable a person making a will, or the solicitor, to register the details of a will with a central authority.

Senator Leyden said “Many people have been deprived of their rightful inheritance by the lack of a will or the inability to find the will of a family member. My Bill, co-signed with Senators Lorraine Clifford Lee and Catherine Ardagh, aims to support these families who have been stuck in long probate procedures.

“I have met many families who have explained to me the urgent need for this legislation. This Bill provides for the privacy of the registered particulars of the Will prior to the testator’s death. This will underpin the development of a modern system of registration of wills that respond to the needs of modern society.

“The latest figures from the CSO tell us there was 30, 484 deaths in 2017. Of these deaths approximately 9000 went to probate.  We must properly ensure those who have passed away have their last wishes carried out correctly and their wills issued promptly in cases where one was created.

“There is a fundamental problem here with wills. They go missing and are not followed up as people move around the country. Quite simply, there should be a registration of wills and a central database to keep track of them.

“The necessity for this Bill is there. The government must take on the merits of the Bill and I am hopeful Minister Regina Doherty will work proactively with this Bill. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure its passing to the next stage,” concluded Senator Leyden.