Steps to taking out a Grant of Probate/Letters of administration intestate:
Why take out a Grant Of Probate
When someone dies having made a will their property immediately passes into the hands of the executor’s of their estate. Then in order for their property to be divided according to their wishes, the executor must apply to the Probate office to take out a grant of Probate in order to administer their estate. If the deceased has not executed a will the property vests in the High Court until such time as a grant known as letters of administration intestate are obtained from the probate office. The estate of the deceased cannot be administered until the either a grant of probate or letters of administration are received from the Probate office.
Find the Will
In order to take out a Grant of Probate the first thing that must be done is to locate the will of the deceased. Usually it will be either in the home of the deceased, with another family member or in the deceased’s solicitor’s office. The will should be located as soon as possible after the deceased’s death.
Ascertain the Executors or persons entitled to extract letters of administration intestate
A will usually contains the details of the person or persons chosen to act as executor(s). Their duty is to administer the estate of the testator. If no executor is appointed or the executor has predeceased the testator, the estate will have to be administered by a person called an administrator. This will be the person who inherits the remainder of the estate after all gifts under the will have been satisfied. The person or persons entitled to extract letters of administration are those who are entitled to a share of the estate. If more than one person is entitled to a share then each of these are equally entitled to be named as administrators of the estate.
Obtain a Death Certificate
To obtain a grant of probate it is necessary to prove the person is dead. This may seem a little obvious but from the Probate office’s point of view they do not want to give a grant of Probate of someone’s estate that is not even dead.
Appoint a solicitor
It is now up to the executor to decide whether or not he will use a solicitor to help him to administer the estate and prove the will or whether he will take it on himself. This will depend on a number of factors. Like the size of the estate, the experience the executor has in such matters etc.
Taking out a Grant without a Solicitor
If the executor/administrator decides to prove the will himself then he must apply to the Personal Applications Section of the Probate Office for an appointment. The office is located at the Phoenix House, Smithfield, Dublin.
Ascertain assets and liabilities
Now the executor must ascertain the entire assets and liabilities of the deceased. This means getting everything from the cost of their funeral and their last mobile phone bill to the money in their credit union account.
Make a return to the Revenue Commissioners
Once all the assets and liabilities of the estate have been ascertained a return to the Revenue Commissioners must be made. The return must be made on a form called an Inland Revenue Affidavit. It is important that this form is completed with the utmost care and honesty as it is a sworn statement and it will be scrutinised by the Probate office.
It usually takes 6-8 weeks for the Revenue Commissioners to process an Inland Revenue Affidavit.
Apply to the Probate Office
When the Inland Revenue Affidavit has been approved by the Revenue Commissioners and returned to you the next step is to actually apply to the Probate Office for a Grant of Probate or letters of administration intestate. You must submit an original death certificate, the stamped Inland Revenue Affidavit and an Oath of Executor along with the original will or Oath of Administrator, (depending on the circumstances other forms can also be required by the Probate Office).
The Oath of Executor and Oath of Administrator are both sworn declarations setting out the amount of the estate and swearing that the executor/administrator will administer the estate in accordance with the terms of the will and/or the law and that if necessary you will provide a statement of account to the High Court..
All these documents will be examined thoroughly by the probate office. If everything is in order the Probate will issue a Grant of Probate or letters of administration.
Administer the Estate
Once the grant of probate/letters of administration intestate have been received the executor is now ready to administer the estate. The executor must draw up a set of accounts showing all of the money gathered into the estate and the distribution of all bequests and legacies. It is important for the executor/administrator to obtain a form of receipt and indemnity from each of the beneficiaries.