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What is probate?

 

When a person dies, it is sometimes necessary to apply for a grant of representation of a person's estate. This is sometimes referred to as a grant of probate.

It is a formal legal process, which authorises someone to deal with a deceased person's estate, (that is, property, money and other possessions, owned by the deceased at the date of death).

The authority is given in the form of a document called a grant.

» More information on grants in general.

The Probate Office:

Applications for Grants of Representation are processed through the Probate Office/District Probate Registry.

The Principal Probate Registry is located in Dublin. There are fourteen District Probate Registries located outside of Dublin attached to some Circuit Court Offices.

Applications may be made to a District Probate Registry if the deceased had a fixed place of abode within the area of that Registry. Applications may be made to Dublin Probate Office in respect of all deceased persons with property in this jurisdiction.

» More information about the Probate Office.

Solicitor applications for grants of representation.

Because the application for a grant of representation is a formal legal process which can be relatively complex, most applicants instruct a solicitor to process their application.

Solicitor applications are only accepted from solicitors who hold a practising certificate for the Republic of Ireland. Overseas solicitors should instruct a solicitor from the Republic of Ireland to process applications on their behalf.

» More information relating to solicitor applications.

Personal applications for grants of representation.

If you are considering applying as a personal applicant (that is, without the assistance of a solicitor) please read the information in the personal applicants section.

Before proceeding with the administration of an estate on a personal basis, you must be confident of your ability to research and undertake the legal responsibilities associated with same. Otherwise, you are advised to consult a solicitor.

Searches and copy documents.

Information on searches and copy documents in the searches and copies section.

Court applications.

Court applications for the 'non-contentious' probate high court list are processed through the Principal Probate Office in Dublin.

» More information on court applications.

 

10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.

Important Changes to Probate from 1st Novemeber 2019

The following changes will be introduced from 1st November 2019 and will take effect from that date.  While there will be some period of grace after the introduction of these changes, queries will be raised on papers submitted if they do not comply with these requirements.

The changes are designed to:

  1. Bring a degree of clarity to Probate procedures for practitioners
  2. Increase the efficiency of the Probate Office
  3. Reduce the likelihood of papers being queried
  4. Make the system more legally robust and relevant

 

The following changes will take effect from the 1st November 2019 and will be effective immediately on that date.

1

Original Death Cert is required in all cases.  Copies will not be accepted.  Original will be retained by the Probate Office. 

One original and one copy of the Revenue Affidavit must be lodged.  There cannot be 2 originals.  The copy must be certified by the solicitor to be a true copy of the original.

A Notice of Application must be lodged in all cases.  This is instead of copy oaths.  No copies of oaths are to be lodged in any case and they will NOT be accepted. Notice of Application available here .

In all cases with wills, where the oath currently states that the deceased did not intermarry with any person after making the will, it must now also state that they did not enter into a civil partnership. Suggested wording is available here .

In Intestate cases, Civil Partners must be cleared off in the same way as spouses.  Suggested wording is available here .

In Intestate cases, where someone has never married (or entered into a CP) it will no longer be assumed that they had no issue. Issue must be cleared off as if the person was widowed.

7

Affidavits of market value will not be required in future.  If a current valuation is needed, a letter from an auctioneer will suffice in all circumstances.

If the papers are lodged within 12 months of the date of death, no proof of current market value will be needed.   

In applications for second or subsequent Grants, it will no longer be necessary to put the word "unadministered" before the word "estate."

10

Postal applications to the Probate Office must be accompanied by a Stamped Addressed Envelope to the value of the papers.  Otherwise they will not be assessed.

John Glennon,  Probate Officer,  1st October 2019

 

 

Other matters relevant to the Probate Office.

The Probate Office also deals with caveats, warnings, appearance to warnings, consents, citations, appearances to citations, affidavits of service, side bar order applications, withdrawal of caveats, withdrawal of notice of intention, subpoenas with affidavits, endorsements of plenary summons / testamentary civil bills and notices of intention to apply.

As these areas can be quite technical and it is advisable to consult a solicitor about these matters. The Probate Office does not give legal advice.

More information on most of these items is available in the Rules of the Superior Courts.

 
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Content reviewed: October 2019