Q & A with Elaine Corcoran

Elaine Corcoran

Elaine Corcoran is a Solicitor working in Ringsend. She is mum of two boys and lives locally. She is here to answer readers’ questions and to give some guidance on current legal trends / developments. Elaine can be contacted on 01 5617900 or by email: elaine@corcoransolicitors.com 

Please email any questions that you have for Elaine to newsfour@gmail.com. 

Dear Elaine 

Myself and my wife are looking to tidy up our affairs. I purchased our family home prior to getting married and it is in my sole name, is there a benefit to putting the house in joint names? We did Wills when our children were younger and I am wondering if they need to be updated or are they still valid? 


Hi Barry, 

I would recommend that a married couple hold all assets (to include bank accounts) in joint names, this way, if one passes away the assets automatically pass into the sole ownership of the surviving spouse. It takes away the need to apply for a Grant of Probate which is an expensive and lengthy process. It is a straightforward and relatively inexpensive exercise to place a property into the joint name of yourself and your spouse. A solicitor can assist you with the application or if you are in possession of your title deeds, you can make the application to Tailte Eireann yourself. 

Your Will is still valid, however, it may be a good idea to update your Will if your children are now of age. You may wish to change your executors and there may be tax advantages to structuring your Will in a particular way. Talk to your solicitor if you have any concerns. 

Dear Elaine

I made a Will a number of years ago with a local Solicitor, he provided me with a copy of the Will and I left the original with him. I have noticed that his office has closed down and I am now unsure as to the location of my original Will. Is this an issue or can my executor use the copy Will after I pass away? 


Hi Simon, 

In this instance, I would advise contacting the Law Society of Ireland to ascertain who took over the solicitors practice. Usually, when a solicitor is retiring, they write out to their clients and afford them an opportunity to take up their original Will before they transfer the said Will to another firm.

If you are having trouble locating your original Will, and or the solicitor who took over the practice, I think it prudent to attend with a Solicitor and create a new Will. 

If you cannot locate their original Will and you do not get an opportunity to make a new Will, all is not lost. An executor can make an application to Court to administer the estate as per the copy Will, however this application may be or may not be successful and it will have a cost implication to the estate.