Solicitor & Probate

Releasing funds for funeral etc..

It is normally possible to release money from the deceased person’s account/s to pay for the likes of funeral expenses before the administration of their Estate is complete. The payment of funeral expenses will include other costs such as death notice, flowers, refreshments, and headstone deposit subject to the account having sufficient funds. This amount is separate to the payment of burial/cremation costs.

The personal representative is known as:

  • The executor where there is a will
  • The administrator where there is no will, no executor appointed in the will, or the executor cannot or will not carry out their duties

The administrator will be the residuary legatee and devisee (i.e. the person who inherits the remainder of the estate that is left after all the gifts under the will have been satisfied). If matters are straightforward the executor/administrator may decide to make a personal application for probate. If not, then it would be advisable to appoint a solicitor.

Administration of an estate

The administration of an estate may be divided into three phases:

  1. Ascertaining the assets of the deceased person (this may involve examination of legal documents to determine title/ownership to property)
  2. Obtaining Grant of Representation from Probate Office/District Probate Registry (i.e. the Probate Process)
  3. Payment of Debts; Settling mandatory Taxation obligations; Distribution of estate which may involve legal interpretation of deceased person’s will and interpretation of rules of distribution as contained in the Succession Act 1965; Transfer of ownership of property.

Administration of an estate may also involve litigation.

If there is a Will, assets are divided in accordance with the terms of the Will subject to the rights of a Spouse/civil partner and in some cases children.

Dying intestate is when you die without making a will. In this situation the Succession Act 1965 determines what happens. The testator’s next-of-kin becomes the administrator of the estate. The rules of intestacy lay out a fixed method of disposing the assets and they run in family lines. These rules will trace back to very distant relations if no closer ones are alive or contactable. If in the highly unlikely event that there are no relatives whatsoever the State will inherit the assets.


Taking out probate basically means having the Probate Office or the appropriate District Probate Registry certify that the will is valid and that all legal, financial and tax matters are in order so that the personal representative can be allowed to get on with the job of distributing the estate. If you are deciding to make a personal application for probate then it would be important to read The Probate Process, An Information Guide for persons acting without a solicitor.

This guide will take you through

  • How to administer an estate
  • The circumstances where a solicitor must be used
  • The probate process

A Grant of probate is generally not required where a person who dies

  • Leaves no assets
  • Leaves assets in joint names. In this case the assets may pass automatically to the surviving joint owner without the need for a Grant.

The following steps are required

  1. Obtain an Account for myAccount or ROS (Revenue Online Service)
  2. Sign in and complete the Statement of Affairs (Probate) Form SA.2. Electronic filing of probate applications has been introduced as part of the modernisation of the probate application process. The form has been developed as a replacement for the Inland Revenue Affidavit (Form CA24).
  3. A notice of Acknowledgement is automatically generated in your inbox
  4. Print this notice
  5. Complete the Probate Personal Application Form
  6. Send it and other documents
    1. Original death Certificate (or a Coroners Interim Certificate of death if no Death Certificate yet issued)
    2. Three photocopies of the original will and codicil(s) [the codicil being an addition or supplement that explains, modifies, or revokes a will or part of one.] to the relevant District Probate Registry or to the Dublin Probate Office (Principal Probate Registry).
  7. The Probate Official will review the application form and contact you if there are any further requirements. If not then an appointment will be granted.
  8. Prepare for your appointment by bringing the following (where applicable) to your appointment:
    1. Original proof of identification which includes a photograph e.g. a drivers licence or passport
    2. The original will and codicil (if any).
  9. Interview with a Probate Personal Applicant Official who will
    1. examine the documentation
    2. make relevant inquiries regarding any aspect of the process which requires clarification
    3. Present you with an Oath which will be sworn or affirmed by you before the Probate Official.
  10. Pay the relevant Probate fee will be calculated based on the net value of the Irish estate.

Note the fees for a personal applicant are double those if a solicitor is applying on your behalf. However the difference would more than likely be less than the solicitors fees.

At either step 6 or 8 it may be clear to the Probate Office that you need to instruct a Solicitor to deal with the Probate Process. Their decision in this regard is final.

Applying for probate without a solicitor

The Courts Service webpage on applying for probate without a solicitor has:

Note that applying for Probate without a solicitor requires you to attend personally in the Probate Office or District Probate Registry.

The Probate Register Online

The Probate Register Online contains details of Grants of Representation (i.e. Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration) which have issued in the Republic of Ireland since 1992. Wills which have been submitted as part of an application for a Grant of Representation become public documents once such a Grant has issued and may be requested from the Probate Office in Dublin or the appropriate District Probate Registry.

Dealing with a deceased person’s money and property

When a person dies, their property passes to their personal representative. The personal representative then distributes the deceased’s person’s assets (money, possessions and property) in accordance with the law, the will (if there is one) or the laws of intestacy (if there is no will). These assets are described as the deceased person’s estate.

You can read about the law on what happens to the estate where a person has left a will, or died without leaving a will (died intestate). Also how access to money may be able to take place

Other Free legal documents

Hibernian Funerals are happy to offer those people experiencing poverty or who are at risk of Funeral Poverty the ability to create a range of documents free of charge. Other documents are contained on the page ‘Will & Other Legal Documents’

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LawOnline details / Will’s & Legal documents page

LawOnline is a web-based service which combines software and the legal knowledge of its solicitors…

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