Q & A with Elaine Corcoran

Elaine Corcoran

Elaine 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 

I am a spinster with no children and need to decide on an executor for my Will. I am thinking that my nephew could act but I intend to leave him a gift under my Will. Is this ok to appoint a beneficiary to act as executor? Any advice would be appreciated. 


Hi Helen, 

One executor is legally required but it is better to have two executors or alternatively a substitute executor in the event that your nephew becomes incapacitated in some way. There is nothing prohibiting an executor receiving a gift under your Will, it is quite common that an executor benefits under a Will. An executor’s powers and duties kick in at the date of your death, they are under no obligation to act and can accept, reserve or renounce their executorship. For this reason, your executors should be aware of their appointment and willing to act. If possible it is always best to choose an executor who is living in the jurisdiction and tax resident in Ireland. If the executor agrees to act, it is their duty to prove the Will and apply for a Grant of Probate. You should appoint someone that is reliable and trustworthy. An executor can appoint a solicitor to assist them and advise them in making this application or they can make a personal application to the Probate Office. 

Dear Elaine

I have been separated from my husband for over 20 years, we have two sons who are in their late 30s and have families of their own. My husband is living in the family home and I have had no option but to rent private accommodation for the past number of years. I am in my late 60s and want to secure accommodation for myself into the future. Our family home is a four bedroom house and far exceeds my husband’s needs. I want to sell the house as it is mortgage free and buy an apartment for myself. How can I force my husband to agree to sell the house? 


Hi Jackie, 

At any time, you and your husband can agree to sell the house and split the proceeds; however, if he is not willing, you may need to litigate. As you are living apart two out of the last three years, you are eligible for a Divorce. You or your solicitor can issue Divorce proceedings and serve them on your husband. A settlement meeting can be arranged after the proceedings are served and you can reach a settlement agreement between you both which will be ruled by a court and made an Order. If no settlement agreement can be reached, the case will be put before a judge to decide. A Decree of Divorce will be granted and certain orders will be made by the judge which can include, Property Adjustment Orders, Pension Adjustment Orders, Maintenance Orders etc.