It can be a real struggle to deal with probate and process your loved one’s estate, whilst coping with bereavement. Your whole world has been turned upside down, but you still need to put affairs in order and carry on. Most of what you have to do relates to money and property – their ‘estate’.

The Next Steps

  1. Inform the financial Institution of the death of the deceased ( bank, Life Policy etc)
  2. Executor/ Administrator should collect the assets of the estate.
  3. Have the estate valued by a reputable valuer (all assets included)
  4. Look for a death Certificate
  5. PPS numbers of deceased/ executor/ administrator/ beneficiaries should be obtained.
  6. Ascertain the details of the beneficiaries, names , addresses etc.
  7. Insure the estate
  8. Instruct a solicitor


What is Probate?

Probate is the process of dealing with the estate of someone who has died. This generally means gathering the assets of the estate, paying the debts due and distributing the assets in accordance with the deceased’s Will or Administration.

The Executor or the Administrator takes control  of the deceased’s estate and where necessary insures the property of the deceased.  The Executor/Administrator should then consult their solicitor to start the Probate process.

The deceased probably held a bank account, Credit Union account,  Policies of Insurance, pension, savings or investment account. All those institutions should be informed of the deceased’s death in writing and a balancing statement should be obtained. The reason for this is to get a complete up to date account of the deceased’s assets and where they are held.  The up-to-date accounts are also necessary to complete the SA.2 form for Revenue and the Probate office.  If the deceased held any property outside the Jurisdiction (Ireland) a complete account of those assets should also be obtained.

Any assets held jointly with another person will fall outside the estate of the deceased. This means that they will go directly to the joint owner. These include real assets such as property.  The deceased may have created a joint bank account  for convenience, with another person who was taking care of them. If so, the contents of the bank account would form part of the deceased’s estate, unless the deceased directed otherwise.

Once the  Grant of Probate/Grant of Administration completes the executor/ Administrator will pay the debts of the deceased. Then they will proceed to distribute the assets of the deceased to the beneficiaries.

If there is any real estate ( dwelling house/ land/  other real property) the Executor/ Administrator should draft a deed of assent to transfer that property to the  beneficiaries.


Thresholds/Tax bands/Capital Acquisition Tax

There are three tax free thresholds which apply for CAT purposes. A liability of tax arises when a person receives a benefit liable to Capital Acquisition Tax.

You can view the full details here, but in summary, the Thresholds are as follows:

  1. Group A: Threshold include child, step-child (further details here) €335,000.00
  1. Group B: A parent, brother, sister (further details here) €32,500.00
  1. Group C: All other cases whether related by blood or not (further details here) €16,500.00



Probate Beneficiaries Who Live Abroad

Please note that there are certain conditions to fulfil, if a beneficiary lives outside the state. The beneficiary must make a tax return to revenue knows as an IT38 return. This return sets out the inheritance  the beneficiary received and the threshold that the beneficiary falls into.  If the beneficiary exceeds the threshold, tax is due on the remainder of the gift received taxable at 33%.

Your solicitor cannot release any inheritance to the beneficiary without a return being made to revenue and tax clearance being obtained.  If there is no payment due to revenue, then revenue will issue a tax clearance letter to the solicitor and the solicitor can release the inheritance  to the beneficiary.

For information or to book an appointment to discuss probate issues, please call us on 0749164906  or email

This article is general in nature and cannot be regarded as legal advice, as it is commentary only. If you would like legal advice regarding how the law applies to your individual situation, then please do not hesitate to contact the Letterkenny office of Crawford Gallagher Solicitors. Contact details 074 916 4906 or email