What is probate?
Generally, “probate” is the term used to refer to the process of applying for the right to deal with a deceased person’s affairs. However, legally there are distinctions between the various types of grant available:
- Where a person dies leaving a will, the right to deal with that person’s affairs is formally given by the “Grant of Probate”.
- Where the Executor(s) named in the will cannot or refuse to act, the “Grant of Administration (with Will Annexed)” confers the right to deal with the deceased person’s affairs.
- Where a person dies intestate (without a will), a “Grant of Administration Intestate” will have to be obtained by the next of kin.
The process in all of the above cases may also be described as “administering the estate”.
Why engage us to assist with the administration of the estate?
The area of Succession law can often be much more complex than it may seem. There are a number of reasons you might want to instruct us to deal with the administration of an estate including:
- The probate process as a whole is complicated because the person dealing with the estate needs to liaise with both the Probate Office and Revenue in addition to often numerous third parties; and ensure that correctly completed documents are lodged with them before any assets are sold, accounts closed, and beneficiaries paid.
- There are charities named as beneficiaries in the will.
- The will features trusts.
- The will is complex.
- The deceased owned property that is not located in Ireland.
- The estate contains business or agricultural assets.
- You simply do not have the time to administer the estate.
- To ensure the executor is protected by their solicitor.
In certain circumstances, the Probate Office will not accept a personal application for a Grant and requires that a solicitor be instructed. These include:
- The person entitled to apply for the Grant is a Ward of Court or a person of unsound mind.
- The person entitled to apply is a minor (i.e. under the age of 18 years).
- There are concerns as to the validity of the will and the will is being contested or is likely to be contested.
- There are issues among the next of kin regarding the estate.
- The original will has been lost.
- Where a beneficiary is non-resident and the applicant for the Grant is non resident in Ireland.
- Where the deceased dies intestate, was domiciled outside of Ireland but leaves assets in Ireland and no Grant has been extracted in his place of domicile.
- Where the deceased dies domiciled outside of Ireland and leaves a will in a foreign language.
- Where the deceased dies domiciled outside of Ireland leaving a will which has not been proved in the law of domicile and a person other than the executor intends to apply for a Grant in Ireland.
- Where the relevant Probate Officer determines that the assistance of a solicitor is required.
What we will do for you
We will look after all matters concerning the estate including:
- Meet with you to advise on the terms of the deceased’s will/intestacy provisions and discuss the duties of the executor(s)/administrator(s).
- Review the assets and liabilities in the estate and contact financial institutions, Revenue, the Department of Social Welfare and other third parties.
- Notify beneficiaries of their entitlements under the will/intestacy.
- Draft probate application forms for the Probate Office and statement of affairs for Revenue and submit the application when the relevant information has been gathered and all forms have been signed.
- Calculate if there is likely any Capital Acquisition Tax due for any of the beneficiaries.
- Once a Grant is obtained, we will collect in the assets and pay outstanding liabilities.
- Pay any legacies or interim distributions to the residuary beneficiaries.
- Prepare estate accounts.