Will or no Will?
If the deceased person has left a Will the estate will be left as per the terms of the Will. If there is no Will the estate will divided by the law of intestacy. On intestacy a spouse/civil partner is entitled to two thirds of the estate if the deceased person has children and the entire estate of the estate if the deceased has no children.
If the deceased dies without a spouse/civil partner surviving them, we then look for the closest blood relative (children first, then parents, then siblings, then nieces/nephews, then cousins). If there are no relatives whatsoever the estate will go to the State.
Grant of Probate/Grant of Administration/Small Estates
If there is a Will you apply for a Grant of Probate, if there is no Will you apply for a Grant of Administration. However if the estate is small, less than €30,000, financial institutions may release the money comprising the estate to the executors/next of kin – without the necessity of extracting a court Grant of Probate or Administration.
The person who extracts the Grant of Probate is referred to as the Executor, whereas the person who extracts the Grant of Administration is called the Administrator.
There is a common misconception that if the deceased left a Will there is no need to apply for a Grant of Probate. This is not the case – it is important to note that the purpose of the Probate/Administration is to inform Revenue about the deceased’s estate and for the protection of Banks/financial institutions paying out monies to those entitled.
Role of a Solicitor in Administration of Estates
Wills and administrations of estates is an important topic, therefore we need to be thorough in our research. Before applying for a Grant of Probate/Administration the Solicitor ascertains the total personal estate (money) held by the estate, gets valuations for any properties that the deceased owned and also obtains details of any debts the deceased owed.
Once all of this is obtained the Solicitor will contact the Executor or Administrator to go through the estate and have them complete documentation pertaining to the application.
When this is done the papers can then be lodged in the Probate Office. At the time of writing it takes roughly four months from date of lodgement for a Grant to issue.
A Grant may be expedited if the Executor/Administrator has reached binding contracts stage on the sale of a property owned by the deceased or the transfer to those entitled.
When the Grant issues/Final steps
Once the Grant issues the solicitor will write to any financial institutions where the deceased held funds enclosing a certified copy of the Grant. The financial institutions will then release the funds. The Grant is also necessary to complete any sale of property owned by the deceased.
When all of the estate has been gathered the Solicitor divides the net estate out among beneficiaries as per the terms of the will or the law of intestacy as applicable.
For further information please contact our office on 01-4540068 or email [email protected] for an appointment.
John Gaynor & Co.
42-46 Thomas Street