TESTATE/ OR INTESTATE ESTATE
Probate Solicitor Letterkenny
Where a person dies testate, they leave behind them a valid document, known as a Will. Their estate is then distributed in accordance with their Will, subject to any claims by a spouse or civil partner for a legal right share, or children under s117 of the Succession Act 1965. At this point the executors appointed under the Will shall take control of the estate.
Where a person dies “intestate” they die without making a Will. The estate of an intestate is distributed in accordance with the provisions of whatever Act is in force at the date of their death. (Intestate Estate Act 1954 or Administration of Estates Act 1959 or Succession Act 1965)
The next of kin will generally be the person to extract the Grant of Letters of Administration, to probate the intestate estate.
The three most common types of Grants applied for are,
- Grant of Probate (where there is a Will)
- Grant of letters of Administration (no Will)
- Grant of Letters of Administration with Will Annexed (where a person dies having made a Will and a person other than the executor applies for the grant the grant will issue to the person entitled by law.
EXECUTOR/ ADMINISTRATOR’S ROLE
It is the duty of the Executor/ Administrator to administer the estate of the deceased in accordance with the terms of the Will or under the provisions of the Succession Act 1965.
These duties include, collecting the assets of the estate, extracting the grant, discharging the debts and distributing the assets of the estate to the beneficiaries.
WHERE TO LOCATE A WILL
Usually a testator will leave the original Will in the office of the solicitor where they made their Will. The Will could also be located in the family home or it may be with a family member.
THE NEXT STEP
- Inform the financial Institution of the death of the deceased.
- Executor/ Administrator should collect the assets of the estate.
- Have the estate valued by a reputable valuer (all assets included)
- Look for a death Certificate
- Ascertain the details of the beneficiaries
- Insure the estate
- Instruct a solicitor
Once all assets of the estate are gathered your solicitor can apply to the Probate office for a Grant of Probate. The solicitor will prepare the necessary documents to extract a grant of probate and these documents shall be submitted along with the Original Will and the probate fees. These documents shall be examined by the Probate office thoroughly and if there is a problem the probate office shall have the documents corrected and resubmitted to the probate office. Once all documents are in order a grant of probate will issue to the solicitors office and the solicitor then informs the executors/ administrators to have the estate distributed.
All debts and liabilities must first be paid out of the estate. The executor/ administrators then distribute the estate in accordance with the Will to the beneficiaries.
Please note that where a beneficiary lives outside the estate, the solicitor is duty bond to retain their benefit under the will or intestacy until a tax return has been made to revenue commissioners, and any taxes due must be paid before the beneficiary receives their benefit.