If you are dealing with the estate of a loved one who died outside Ireland, you may need to apply for an Irish grant where a person died possessing;
* Both movable and immovable assets in Ireland.
* Moveable assets only in Ireland.
* Immoveable assets only in Ireland.
Such an application will be required regardless of whether your loved one died abroad;
* Testate - with a valid foreign will or;
* Intestate - with no valid will.
When someone dies with a valid will a grant of probate is the legal document provided by the court which allows their loved ones to deal with their estate.
Where someone dies with no will, a grant of letters of administration is the legal document provided by the court which allows their loved ones to deal with their estate.
The steps on making an application to the probate office in Ireland vary slightly depending on whether or not there was a valid will.
The Contents of the Estate
In order to establish what type of documents are required for the application to the Irish probate office you must first establish the contents of your loved one’s estate. Example of moveable assets would consist of money in bank accounts, credit unions, insurance policies, pensions etc. Immoveable assets refer generally to real property such as apartments, houses etc.
It is worth noting that some institutions may release assets of minimal value without the need for such an application. This is entirely at their discretion but is normally permitted where the asset is low value, for example a small balance on a bank account may be released if it is less than €10,000.
Some examples of when a grant will be required include where the estate consists of;
* Real property.
* Money on bank accounts.
* In order to access funds on pension accounts (for example the Construction Workers Pension Scheme and other similar schemes).
* Insurance policy payouts (for example death in service benefit).
What We Will Need from You?
Before we can make any application to the probate office, we will require sight of a sealed and certified copy of the grant (or equivalent) that issued in the country that the deceased was domiciled.
If it is clear from this document that the person applying is entitled to extract the grant then this should be sufficient for the Irish application.
If the entitlement to extract is not clear then an affidavit of law may be required. This is a legal document prepared by a lawyer from the country of origin setting out the applicant’s entitlement to extract the grant under the law of that country.
How Can We Help?
In order to deal with your loved one’s Irish assets, either a grant of probate or grant of letters of administration will have to be obtained. In the case of non-resident applicants, you must appoint an Irish based solicitor to handle the matter on your behalf for tax purposes. We can also advise you at all stages in relation to your application to the probate office and can assist in the following;
- Communicating with financial and other institutions.
- Advice regarding documentation required.
- Preparing and submitting required documentation.
- Engaging professional document translators on your behalf where essential.
- Assistance obtaining an affidavit of law.
- Help obtaining Irish PPS numbers (this is a personal identification number which must be applied for and obtained before any application can be submitted to the probate office).
- Preparing accounts.
Glossary of Terms
* Testate – The situation where a person dies in possession of a valid will.
* Intestate – The situation where a person dies with either no will or an invalid will.
* Probate – The legal process in which a deceased persons estate is administered.
* Grant of Probate – This is the legal document provided by the court which allows a deceased’s loved ones to deal with their estate where there is a valid will.
* Grant of Letters of Administration – This is the legal document provided by the court which allows a deceased’s loved ones to deal with their estate where there is no valid will.
* Estate – The collective term for all of the assets which the person held at the time of their death.
* Affidavit of Law – A legal document sworn by an independent lawyer who is practising in the country of domicile.
* Real Property – Commonly refers to land and any property situated on it.