Probate Frequently Asked Questions

The Will is with another Solicitor. Does this matter? No, unless it is stated to the contrary in the Will, the Executor or Legal Personal Representative can instruct any Firm of solicitors of their choosing to act in the Probate. It is a simple matter of signing an Authority to ‘take up’ the Will from the current solicitors.

What is Probate?
Probate is a process whereby a person’s Will is ‘proved’ by the Probate Office (District Probate Registry) so that a deceased person’s Estate may be distributed subject to the terms of the deceased person’s Will.

What is a Grant of Probate?
This is the document issued by the Probate Office or District Probate Registry once the deceased person’s Will has been ‘proved’ and allows the Executor or Legal Personal Representative named in the Will to deal with and distribute the deceased person’s Estate subject to the terms of their Will.

What happens where someone dies without having made a Will?
Someone who dies without leaving a Will is said to have died intestate and their property will be divided amongst their surviving relatives according to the rules of intestacy.

What are the Rules of Intestacy?
A summary of the Rules of Intestacy is as follows:

  • Where a deceased person is survived by their spouse but no children, the surviving spouse gets entire Estate.
  • Where a deceased person is survived by a spouse and children, the spouse gets two thirds and one third is divided equally between the children.
  • Where a deceased person is survived by children and no spouse, the Estate is divided equally between the children.
  • Where the deceased person is survived by their parents only, the entire Estate is divided equally between the parents.
  • Where the decease person is survived by their siblings only, the Entire Estate is divided equally between the surviving siblings
  • Where the deceased person leaves no surviving relatives, the entire Estate will go to the State.

What is Grant of Administration?
Like a Grant of Probate a Grant of Administration is a document issued by the Probate Office or District Probate Registry which allows an appropriate person deal with and distribute the deceased person’s Estate where the deceased person has died without making a Will.

Do I have to pay tax on property/money I have been left?
Capital Acquisitions Tax may have to be paid depending on your relationship to the deceased person, the value of property you have been left and whether you have already received gifts from the deceased person during their lifetime.

What is Capital Acquisitions Tax?
Capital Acquisitions Tax (known as CAT or Gift Tax/Inheritance Tax) is a tax paid on property/money left to you in a Will or given to you during the lifetime of the deceased person.

How is Capital Acquisitions Tax calculated?
Capital Acquisitions Tax is payable at a rate of 33% of the value of the property/money. However, there are tax free thresholds for gifts received from certain relatives, as follows:

Group A – Children can receive property/money from their parents up to a value of €225,000.00 without paying CAT.

Group B – Parents, siblings, nieces and nephews can receive property/money up to a value of €30,5000.00 without paying CAT

Group C – Property/money received from anyone outside of Group A and Group B is deemed to be received from strangers in blood and only €15,075.00 can be received without paying CAT

There are exemptions and reliefs which, in certain situations, can reduce the amount of CAT payable.

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