Nobody wanted to witness the will

I had to go to Naas Hospital last week with a will for a man who has a short time to live.

The will was straightforward and I had it ready and pre-prepared as I walked in to the hospital as I had received the instructions prior my trip.

I faced two tasks:

  1. Ascertaining whether he knew what he was doing-that is, had he compos mentis to make a will
  2. If the answer to 1 above was “yes”, then I had to get another witness to witness the signature along with myself

I only needed to speak to him for a short time to determine that he had no difficulty understanding what was involved and satisfying myself that he was capable of making a valid will.

The big problem now was getting another witness.

You might think this would be no problem in a hospital.

Let me tell you that it is a huge problem as most nurses and doctors did not want “to get involved”. They wanted nothing to do with it.

This did not surprise me as the same thing happened a few years ago when I had a similar experience in another hospital in the midlands.

Eventually we got a young doctor to witness the will. He was young and probably naïve and had no difficulty.

We only got him after a good deal of refusals, however.

I cannot understand this reluctance, to be frank, and find it disappointing.

Maybe there is a genuine fear that the witness will have to give evidence in years to come as to the testamentary capacity of the testator.


Anyway, if you are thinking of making a will, and you should, this blog post of mine will give you a guide to what is involved.