Deceased: No Will

Deceased: No Will

The different ways your estate will be dealt with if you die without a will.

Inheritance and Probate

Olga R.
Olga R.
09:42 28 May 21
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My husband and I have been using Griffin Solicitors for over twenty years. From purchasing property to drawing up our... wills to general legal queries John Griffin and his team have been unfailingly professional, prompt, polite and extremely efficient.Any matter is dealt with in a timely and expert manner.John Griffin leads a fantastic team who provide a superb professional service.We would highly recommend Griffin Solicitors for all your legal needs.A company that delivers outstanding service. .A pleasure to do business with them.Louise&Alan Weberread more

The Succession Act’s rules are generally fair and workable.

John Griffin

Deceased – No will

When a person dies without a will all assets are distributed to their next of kin in accordance with the provisions of the Succession Act 1965. The assets will be distributed as follows:

  1. If you die with a spouse but without children your spouse will take the entire estate.
  2. If you die with a spouse and children your spouse will take two thirds of your estate and the remaining third will be divided equally among your children.
  3. If you die without a spouse but with children your children will take your estate in equal shares.


    Probate Timeline

    Obtain a Death Certificate.

      The death must be registered with the Registrar of Births Marriages and Deaths within three months of the date of death. Three to four copies the death certificate should be obtained.  If the deceased died suddenly or at home or in unusual  circumstances there may be a delay whilst the matter goes through the coronors court. In such cases a certificate of fact of death can be obtained from the coroner. The certificate of fact of death is sufficient to obtain a grant of probate.

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          The Administrator is appointed based on their family relationship to the deceased. The Administrator is not paid for doing this work. Their duty is to administer the estate of the testator according to the law. The task can be quite difficult depending on the size and scope of the deceased persons estate.

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            Ascertain Assets and Liabilities

              The Administrators duties include going through the deceased persons possessions to find out what assets they had and securing any property that they owned. They should make sure any property is insured and that the insurance company will want to know if the property is now occupied full time. With online accounts it can be more difficult tracing and gaining access to them. If the deceased had old bank statements which stopped at some point in the past then the likelihood is that the account was closed and the money transferred elsewhere.

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                Obtain date of Death Balances and Valuations

                  Write and obtain death of death valuations for all assets, including:

                  1. all bank accounts
                  2. valuations for shares
                  3. property valuations

                  The deceased’s bank accounts will be frozen until the Grant of Probate issues. The one exception is access to funds to pay the deceased’s funeral bill.

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                    Role of the Beneficiaries

                      The beneficiaries must supply their names, addresses, mobile numbers, email addresses and have, or obtain, an Irish PPS Number. Even if the beneficiary never lived in Ireland they must obtain an Irish PPS Number to obtain a benefit under an Irish will.

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                        Joint Accounts

                          Joint accounts do not form part of the deceased’s estate. The principle of survivorship applies to such property. On the death of one joint owner, his interest automatically passes to the survivor, outside of the estate. Joint accounts are very common with married couples, where survivorship will automatically apply. If the property is owned by one person but held in two names then it will form part of the estate unless there is an intention to benefit  the survivor. A parent may place a child’s name on a bank account for the convenience or to benefit the child. It depends on the circumstances of each case.

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                            Make a Return to the Revenue Commissioners

                              Once all the assets and liabilities of the estate have been established a return to the Revenue Commissioners is made. This is called a Statement of Affairs (“SA2”). The executor is personally responsible for The SA2 being correct. It is lodged an acknowledgement issues which forms part of the application to the Probate Office.

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                                Apply to the Probate Office

                                  The next step is to apply to the Probate Office for Letters of Administration. This will include the submission of the original will together with the Oath and Revenue acknowledgment.

                                  The Oath sets out basic details of the deceased, including that it was the deceased’s last will, and swearing to administer the estate in accordance with law. All documents lodged are examined thoroughly by the Probate Office. If everything is in order the Probate Office will issue Letters of Administration in approximately 10 to 12 weeks. This time period varies depending on the workload of the Probate Office. A Grant of Probate is a Court Order giving the executor the power to complete the sale of property and gather in money from banks and shares.

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                                    Administer the Estate

                                      Once the court order issues the assets of the deceased can be gathered in and the sale of any property completed.
                                      The Administrator can then discharge any debts and pay the beneficiaries.

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                                        Estate Accounts

                                          The Administrator must by law furnish Estate Accounts to the residuary beneficiaries giving a true and fair account of the assets and liabilities of the estate.

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                                            13 Steps to Easy Administration

                                              Obtaining a grant of administration involves the following steps:


                                              1. Obtain a death certificate.
                                              2. Identifying who the beneficiares are according to the Succession Act 1965.
                                              3. The person who will act as the Administrator will be one of the main beneficiaries. Administrators act in the same way as executors but are appointed by court order.
                                              4. Confirming that the family tree is complete. This may involve making extra independent enquiries.
                                              5. Identifying all the assets and debts in the estate. This can be difficult task if the Administrator was not close to the deceased.
                                              6. Filling out a statement of Affairs for the revenue commissioners, preparing a combined oath and bond and lodging these documents with the Probate Office.
                                              7. The Administrator will be required to swear a bond. A bond is a document stating that if the Administrator does not administer the estate properly, that they will be liable to pay to the High Court up to double the value of the estate.  The purpose of this document is to ensure the Administrator has a personal responsibility to ensure that the estate is administered properly.
                                              8. Dealing with any query raised by the Probate Office. Letters of administration issue from the Probate Office. Any property owned by the deceased can then be sold.
                                              9. Gathering in the assets of the deceased.
                                              10. Ensuring that the deceased’s tax affairs are in order. Obtaining confirmation from the Department of Social Welfare and HSE that they dont have any claim over the estate.
                                              11. Dealing with taxation issues of non-resident beneficiaries.
                                              12. Preparation of estate accounts.
                                              13. Distributing the assets of the estate.

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                                                John Griffin

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