What we’re asked the most.
What duties are undertaken by an Executor?
- Locating the will of the deceased.
- Locating all the assets of the deceased.
- Protecting all assets of the estate, making sure everything is insured.
- Finding out what debts need to be paid.
- Securing and insuring any property owned by the deceased.
- Obtaining a death Certificate.
- Locating any other legal documents that may be required, such as any documents relating the deceased’s property.
- Providing the beneficiaries contact details and PPS numbers.
- Assisting the solicitor for the Estate with any queries.
- Swearing the oath of the executor.
- Approving the estate accounts.
- Assenting any properties in the estate into beneficiaries names.
How can an Executor accelerate Probate?
- Locating all the possible assets of the Estate and furnishing them to the solicitor as soon as possible. This may involve organising the deceased persons possessions and papers to ensure all possible assets have been located. Furnishing full details of all beneficiaries, their names, addresses, pps no.s email and mobile numbers.
- Assisting the solicitor dealing with the Probate application in addressing any queries that arise.
- Reviewing and approving all documentation from the solicitor in a timely manner.
- If there are two executors working together in a friendly manner.
- Working with the beneficiaries to the estate in a friendly manner.
How long does it take to complete Probate?
A straightforward probate can take eight to ten months to complete. It depends on the number, location and variety of assets in the estate. More complicated estates can take considerably longer to complete.
Why does Probate take so long ?
As set out above there are may steps to a Probate application. If any step is delayed then the whole process stops. The following are some reasons such applications may be delayed:
- Difficulty locating the assets of the Estate. If the location of the testator’s assets are unclear then letters will need to be written to all institutions where such assets could be located. This is a time consuming process as many of these institutions are slow to revert. A well organised executor will have details of all the assets and this will speed up the probate process.
- Delays with institutions reverting with the value of a testator’s assets.
- Delays in the Probate Office.
- Disagreements between executors, beneficiaries and family members.
Probate litigation, more on this is set out here.
How much does Probate cost ?
The cost of Probate depends on the number, location, variety and value of the assets in the estate. Griffin’s Solicitors provide a ‘no obligation initial consultation’ free of charge in which we go through what exactly is involved in obtaining Probate and the cost of same. We do not take on any work without agreeing the fees in writing in advance.
What are the Tax implications for a beneficiary?
The taxable benefit received by a beneficiary will be net of expenses such as the sot of extracting a grant of probate, the costs associated with selling a property, legal fees and any fees charged by your accountant.
It is important to note beneficiaries are responsible for filing a tac return if the benefit received if more than 80% of their allowable group threshold.
Beneficiaries will fall into three categories for the purposes of Capital Acquisitions Tax, the tax paid on a benefit received from a gift or inheritance:
- Beneficiaries who will inherit under their group A threshold. These beneficiaries are the children of a deceased person and minor children of a pre-deceased child.
- Beneficiaries who will inherit under their group B threshold. These beneficiaries are lineal ancestors or lineal descendants, brothers, sisters and nieces or nephews.
- Beneficiaries who will inherit under their group C threshold. These beneficiaries are “strangers in blood” and it includes all other beneficiaries not mentioned above at no. 1 and no. 2.
How much each group can inherit tax free changes with the annual budget and details of these thresholds can be found here.
Is there any penalty for delaying in extracting a grant of probate?
There isn’t an absolute time limit within which an application has to be made to the probate office. However, there are several complications that commonly arise if there is a significant delay in extracting a grant of probate:
- If an executor dies or looses capacity this will make a probate application significantly more difficult.
- There may be tax implications to delaying an application. This is a particular concern in a rising property market as the property will be valued at the date of death. If there is a significant delay in selling the property, the beneficiaries may face a significant Capital Gains tax liability if the house has increased in value.
- Delays in property transfers may be a difficulty as any sale cannot close until one week after the Grant of Probate issues.
- Delays in obtaining inheritances.