143. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a register of wills exists or is contemplated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18264/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The position is that the views of the Law Society on the desirability of establishing a registration of wills system were sought in 2005. The Society's Probate, Administration and Trusts Committee subsequently informed the Department that it did not favour the establishment of a Register of Wills for a number of reasons.
Firstly, since the registration would be voluntary, there might be very limited usage of such a service. Secondly, even where a will was registered, such registration would not guarantee the validity of the will if the statutory requirements in relation to signature, witnesses etc. had not been complied with. Moreover, there could be no guarantee that a registered will was in fact the final will of the testator concerned. I should add that the Law Society reiterated these concerns in a letter to my Department earlier this year.
In light of the foregoing, it is unlikely that any initiative to establish a system for registering wills in this jurisdiction would command the required level of support and involvement from the legal profession.