No-one likes talking about the subject of death, but there are times it is unavoidable. Matters of Wills and Probate are just such an issue.

In the hurly-burly of modern life, making a Will is something many people put to the back of their minds.

There are so many other demands on our time, that it's the sort of seemingly thankless task we put off and off.

But this can be a serious and costly mistake. Dying without a Will – known as dying intestate – can leave a host of problems behind for loved ones already coping with bereavement.

There are several DIY options available, particularly on the internet, but none is a substitute for the drawing up of a Will by a solicitor skilled in the unique legal circumstances of Northern Ireland. The do-it-yourself route is fraught with difficulties and could end in further tears down the line.

“Writing a valid Will is the only way you can be sure that your wishes are carried out and your loved ones provided for after your death,” said Fergus McConnell, Director at McConnell Kelly Solicitors.

“Also, dying without a Will can cause your family the distress of resolving legal problems on top of losing a loved one.”

Examples of circumstances where a will is particularly necessary include:

  • Civil partnerships and 'common law' relationships.
  • The rights of children in marriages in civil partnerships or common law,
  • People with no living relatives
  • people to wish to provide for dependants with special requirements
  • Inheritance tax planning and associated legal issues
  • To ensure your particular bequests are adhered to e.g. to a charity.

McConnell Kelly are one of the leading Will writers in Northern Ireland and indeed, has been number one in terms of charitable donations during Will Aid Month for the past three years.



Probate is a term covering the process of the granting of the right to deal with a deceased person's affairs – often called administering their estate.

When someone dies, you may need to get the legal right to deal with any money, property and possessions they leave behind.

In Northern Ireland this is known as a 'grant of probate'. Most cases follow a similar process, which can however be quite complex and even confusing to lay people.

A person's probate duties can involve a lot of paperwork including accessing the deceased person's bank account, the payment of inheritance tax, collection of estate assets, the settlement of any bills (e.g. mobile phones, gas and electricity bills) and the distribution of money, debts, property or belongings to beneficiaries.

As these things can be complex, it is essential to get proper legal representation. McConnell Kelly has 25 years' experience of guiding people through probate to ensure their rights and the rights of beneficiaries.

If you make a will with us we will securely retain it and thereafter can assist in ensuring its proper handling. The knowledge that the Will is kept in a secure and clandestine location is crucial to loved ones already coping with stressful bereavement.

Probate can be an emotional and difficult process and it is essential that you receive proper legal advice.

To discuss your individual requirements get in touch today for a totally confidential and unpressured chat.


McConnell Kelly: Local. Trusted. On Your Side.


Contact us today at each of our offices:


Dundonald Office: 

Address: 49 Comber Rd, Belfast, County Antrim BT16 2AA

Phone: 028 9048 9816


Ballyhackamore Office: 

Address: 217-219 Upper Newtownards Rd, Belfast, County Antrim BT4 3JD

Phone: 028 9065 5511


Bangor Office: 

Address: 45 Main St, Bangor, County Down BT20 5AF

Phone: 028 9147 9900


Or email us in confidence at info@mcconnellkelly.com, alternatively visit our website www.mcconnellkelly.com




Wills and probate