Irish Probate Services
What is Probate in Ireland?
Irish Probate is a legal process that allows a person in Ireland to deal with a deceased person’s assets. Irish probate dictates that the authority to deal with a deceased person’s assets is given in the form of a document known generally as a grant of representation.
Types of Grant As Per Irish Probate Law
Grant of Probate: According to Irish Probate Law, the executor is the person named in the will who has the job of carrying out the terms of the will. Irish probate dictated that if a person dies with a valid will and has appointed an executor, then that executor will get a grant of probate for the estate from the Probate Office. Irish probate states that the executor must deal with the person’s assets in the manner laid out in the will. The executor has the first right to ‘prove’ a will (establish that the will is valid so as it can be carried out). If an executor does not wish to ‘prove’ a will, he/she can renounce or reserve the right according to Irish probate law. Any one of two or more executors can apply for the grant of probate. They may apply jointly.
Grant of Letters of Administration: This is granted under Irish Probate Law if a person dies in the absence of a valid will. In this instance (Intestacy) Irish Probate Law dictates that the assets are dealt with by a person known as an administrator. In general, Irish Probate dictates that the person / people entitled to this grant to become an administrator are usually one or more of the nearest living relatives. See our page on Intestacy for more details on this subject.
Grant of Letters of Administration with Will Annexed: According to Irish Probate – This document is issued if a person dies with a valid will – however an individual other than the executor is trying to apply for the grant. If the executor is unwilling or unable to act, or has died, or the will does not appoint an executor, then this grant will be given. The usual applicant is whoever is entitled to the residue (this refers to the remainder in a will after all other debts and gifts have been settled).
When is a Grant necessary?
If an individual dies leaving behind him/her a property / land in his/her name (as the sole owner), then Irish Probate Law dictates that it is necessary to apply for probate so that the property/land can be sold or transferred into the name of another person.
If the deceased left money in a bank or any type of financial institution then under Irish Probate Law, a grant of representation may be required. The institution in question should ideally be contacted by the executor or next of kin to establish what is required.
On a positive note – according to Irish Probate – if a person dies leaving a house and/or land that he/she owned jointly with another, then that house and/or land may automatically pass to the surviving joint tenant. If that is the case, usually there is no need for a grant. However, in some joint ownerships property will not automatically pass to the other surviving owner. If a person dies leaving money in a joint name account, then a grant may be necessary due to the fact that the money may not automatically pass to the surviving account holder – it depends on the type of account and on the reasons for which the joint account was opened.
Our Irish Probate Service
At this time it is important that the affairs and wishes of the deceased person are attended to in an efficient, speedy and sensitive manner. Probate Ireland endeavor to keep this constantly in mind when providing any Irish Probate services. We do our utmost to provide a personal service every step of the way. We minimize the number of visits and we undertake information gathering in ease of the executors. Probate Ireland monitor the progress of all Irish Probate matters in a systematic way and work to overcome the many and varied obstacles that can frequently delay progress in the administration of an estate.
The Irish Probate Procedure
These are the predictable Irish Probate stages in the administration of an estate:
- Inform the beneficiaries of their gift, request their PPS number and history of previous gifts
- Request Charity Number from benefitting charities
- Keep charity acknowledgements for monitoring by Commissioners for Charitable Donations
- Gather and collate all the necessary information.
- Contact the various financial institutions and ask them to confirm date of death balances
- Contact the utility providers and ask them to verify accounts position
- Arranging with bank for payment of funeral expenses
- Contact Department of Social Protection to inform them that the person has died
- Complete Revenue Affidavit CA24 for Revenue and Probate Office so as to obtain the appropriate grant.
- Distribute certified copies of the grant and the completed withdrawal forms to financial institutions
- Notify Department of Social Protection to ensure that there are no claims against the estate
- Call in all assets
- Ensure deceased’s tax affairs are completely finalised
- Ensure that all bills are paid
- Have accounts approved by executor(s)
- Distribute gifts and account to all beneficiaries and to the executor(s).
Helpful Information For Solicitors Abroad and International Law Firms That Require Assistance In Relation To Irish Probate & Grants of Probate
(The furnishing of this information does not create any obligation whatsoever so feel free to ask)
According to Irish Probate – Beneficiaries of Irish Estates who are not registered on the Irish Social Security System must be allocated a PPS (Personal Public Service) Number so that their benefits can be accounted for to Irish Revenue.
To obtain a PPS Number the person concerned must complete a form REG 1 (and a form of consent to allow this information to be provided to the Irish solicitor if the solicitor is making the application)
In all cases instructions concerning Irish Probate must come to Probate Ireland from a solicitor/lawyer abroad (whose practicing entitlements are verified) to whom we will account at the conclusion and who will deal with correspondence throughout and verify compliance with anti-money-laundering regulations.
1. Name, address, occupation, marital status of the deceased
2. Names, addresses and estimated Irish benefits of all the beneficiaries of the Irish estate and the relationship (if any) of each beneficiary to the deceased person
3. Official Copy DEATH Certificate of the deceased person.
4. Confirmation as to whether or not the deceased was ever registered in the Irish Social Security system. If so there will be on record Personal Public Service (PPS) number in respect of the deceased.
5. A list of the deceased’s assets in this jurisdiction with supporting Euro vouchers/valuations from the Irish institution.
6. At this initial stage a simple copy of the original Will and foreign Grant of Probate will be sufficient (Court Sealed and Court Certified copies will be required later)
7. (In the case of moveable property situated in Ireland, and if there is no foreign grant, we will require an Affidavit of Law from the instructing solicitor abroad verifying entitlement to the grant. Precedent will be sent to you if this arises)
8. We will need Power of Attorney to enable me to take out the Irish Grant – we will send you a precedent on receipt of the above documentation and your instructions to act. At the same time we will send you a general authority form to cover matters such as endorsing cheques, data protection and your compliance with anti-money-laundering legislation.
According to Irish Probate Law – The Irish estate cannot be distributed unless the deceased person’s tax affairs in Ireland are in order. On receipt of formal instructions to act Probate Ireland will send you a precedent and authority on this subject.
(If the aggregate value of Irish bank accounts etc exceed Euro €100,000 the Irish Revenue need to be satisfied as to the source of the funds and the proper accounting for tax in relation to that source)
The steps above concerning Irish Probate & Grants of Probate from abroad is a simplified initial list to help matters to be moved forward.
A list of requirements specific to any particular case will be prepared when Probate Ireland receive the above initial requirements.
Our aim is to complete the assigned work with personal attention and with minimum delay and inconvenience to you
Always seek prompt legal advice in matters such as this.
Example: if a liability for tax arises there are penalties attached to delayed payment.
You will see that the process is a little heavy in terms of paperwork but my aim to complete the assigned work with minimum delay and minimum inconvenience to you. Probate Ireland try to deal with matters in comprehensive stages thereby avoiding coming back to you time and time again with piecemeal requirements.
On receipt of the above Probate Ireland will be able to let you have a fees estimate and a note of the further requirements specific to your particular matter.
Harmonisation of European Union Succession Law
Until quite recently all of the countries of the world have had different rules dealing with succession rights (that is the rules relating to inheritance whether testate or intestate). However since the creation of the Succession Regulation (EU) No 650/2012 on 17 August 2012 all that has changed for 24 of the member states of the European Union. (with the addition of Croatia on 1st July 2013). The Regulation aims to harmonise the laws relating to succession throughout the European Union. Although in force, the Regulation will only apply upon the deaths of residents of the Succession Countries* (listed below) after 17 August 2015.
Aims of the Succession Regulation
The stated aims of the European Parliament’s Directorate-General for Internal Policies which was dealing with succession rights included:
1. The adoption of the concept of “habitual residence” (in lieu of nationality or domicile) as the most important criterion in determining the jurisdiction and applicable law in inheritance and succession matters.
2. The general rule of habitual residence can be overridden by the individual testator or testatrix by the use of the concept of “party autonomy” so that “the testator is allowed to designate his national law as the law governing his succession as a whole, by expressing his choice expressly and in testamentary form.” In other words unless an individual’s will states the national law to be applied, the succession law of the country in which they were habitually resident at the time of their death will apply.
3. Universal application of the same succession rules so Article 20 of the Succession Regulation provides that any law specified by the Regulation shall be applied whether or not it is the law of a Member State.
4. The Succession Regulation adopts the principle of the unity of the succession. As a result, the law applicable to the succession will govern the succession as a whole, regardless of the nature of the assets (movables or immovables).
5. The creation of the European Certificate of Succession, which is a standard form certificate designed to enable heirs, legatees, executors or administrators to prove their legal status and/or rights in any or all of the Succession Regulation Countries.
*Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia (from 1st July 2013), Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.