Many people are familiar with the process of will making and execution. A will executor is appointed by the testator (person who writes the will). This information is included in the will itself. According to Irish legal procedure, Irish Probate allows the executor to deal with the deceased testator’s assets.
However, before becoming the executor, you are required to file the Grant of Probate. This is a document that you submit to the Probate Office. The Probate office will then verify details before giving you access as an executor. Therefore, the grant issued by the Probate office to the executors is called the Grant of Probate.
What does the Probate office do?
It is the Probate Office’s job to ‘prove’ the will. To do so, they certify three things:
1. The validity of the will: This means they will look through all the wills the deceased has previously made and verified them according to date.
2. Legal and financial matters: They will ensure that all financial matters of the deceased are in order. This includes tax payment, debts, etc.
3. Sound of mind: The probate office will look through the will and contact the witnesses for affidavits regarding the will’s signing.
The Will will only take effect when the Probate Office declares the will to be valid. Once this is complete, the executor may distribute the estate.
What happens if there is no executor?
An administrator can also be appointed. This happens if:
1. There is no will
2. There is a will but no executor
3. Executor himself is deceased or unable to carry out the will.
The administrator can be any next-of-kin: spouse, civil partner, children, parent or siblings. To become the administrator, the person needs to take out the Letter of Administration.
The letter of Administration needs to be submitted to the Probate office who will decide whether or not the person is entitled to become an administrator. Once received, the administrator may carry out the settlement of the will under the supervision of the Probate office.
Why hire a solicitor for this?
It is a common misconception that you should contact a solicitor only if you’re trying to contest a will. However, that is not the case. A solicitor can be contacted if you wish to apply for the grant of representation. A solicitor specializing in Wills is familiar with the laws, debts and taxes that need to be paid. They can help ensure that the will is followed to the t and that everything goes according to Irish law.
If you would like with this or with any other legal query, please get in touch with the team at Devaney & Partners.