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What an Executor Needs to Know

Probate A to Z

Every step to take.

Executors are special people; they are chosen to carry out a deceased person’s last wishes.

John Griffin

Probate: A to Z – Each Step Explained

The best way explain the Role of the Executor in the Probate process is to break down the process into smaller parts, set time limits for each part and work from appointment to appointment with the deceased solicitor in order to ensure that Probate is completed as soon as possible.

Probate Timeline

Why take out a Grant of Probate? 

The short answer is that there is money in the bank, insurance policies and property that cannot be accessed or sold without a court order called a grant of probate.

No probate order will be given out without the Revenue requirements first being dealt with.

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Finding the Will

In order to take out a Grant of Probate the first thing is to locate the original Will of the deceased.

Usually, it will be in the Solicitors office where it was made or in the deceased’s home or the original Will must be located as soon as possible after the deceased’s death.

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John Griffin

John Griffin

Principal Solicitor

Gerard K.
Gerard K.
14:05 26 May 22
John and his team are an absolute pleasure to deal with - from the moment you walk in you are made feel welcome and at... ease. John helped guide me through probate after the death of my wife and made everything from start to finish totally seamless. I have also used Griffin Solicitors for some other services (affidavit for daughters passport, wills etc). Always looked after and always so professional. I would not hesitate to recommend them to family and friends who may need their professional services.read more
Jamie M.
Jamie M.
14:40 23 Mar 22
I phoned Griffin Solictors with a probate query and the solicitor that I spoke to was unbelievably polite, helpful and... efficient. Would definitely recommend these guys. Thanks a million for your advice John. All the best. Jamie Moonen.read more
Sandra M.
Sandra M.
16:39 16 Mar 22
John and his team were acting on behalf of my late mother and I was one of her powers of attorney.Wills, trust and... probate can be a very difficult matrix to comprehend and John at all times gave me full and informed guidance. All paperwork was accompanied with easy explanations in layman’s language.Katarina ensured my many phone calls to the office was never a problem. Jacinta and Louise’s advice on Revenue, inheritance and capital gains tax was invaluable to my family and me.Thank you sincerely o the whole team for guiding us through the whole process and I will definitely ask John to represent me again for any future legal dealings.Peter MacManusread more
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Executors

The Executors are appointed under the will and their duty is to administer the estate.  The executor is not paid for doing his work as executor. Their duty is to administer the estate of the testator. The task can be quite difficult depending on the size and scope of the deceased persons estate.

If no executor is appointed or the executor has predeceased the testator, the estate will be administered by the person who inherits the remainder of the estate. This person is called the residuary beneficiary. For more infomation see our FAQ section.

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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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Instruct your Solicitor

The executor will either instruct a Solicitor or, if the estate is straightforward, make a personal application to the Probate Office. The Probate Office charge personal applicants twice the applicaiton fee charged to solicitors. (checke this).

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Ascertain assets and liabilities

The executors duties include going through the deceased person’s 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. To learn more about inheritance tax click here.

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Apply to the Probate Office

Apply to the Probate Office.

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

The Oath for Executor 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 a Grant of Probate in approximately 10 to 15 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

Administer the Estate.

Once the Grant of Probate issues the assets of the deceased can be gathered in and the sale of any property completed.
The executor can then discharge any debts and pay the beneficiaries.

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Estate Accounts

The executor 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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Read more about real life inheritance stories here.

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