Mullaneys Solicitors

Wills and Probate


Drafting a will

By way of preparation, you should think about the sort of problems which might arise on your death. It might help to make notes. Are there specific things you would like to give to particular people? Do you have relatives you would like to provide for or remember? You should consult with us and select the type of Will that suits your circumstances.

A Will is not valid unless it has been properly executed in accordance with law. It may not be electronically signed or witnessed. Making your Will does not in any way restrict you using or disposing of any of your assets during your lifetime. If there is any material change in your circumstances, you should consider making a new Will. A Will only ever takes effect on your death and affects only assets held at that time. Consider leaving it with us or depositing it in some other place for safekeeping. You may wish to keep a copy at home with your papers and include a note to say where the original is to be found. A Will once made needs to should be reviewed every few years, or sooner if your circumstances change.


Probate

A Grant of probate is a document granted under seal by the High Court to the effect that the will of the person named in the grant has been proved and registered in the court and that administration of the deceased’s assets (called ‘the estate’)  has been granted to the Executor or Executors proving the Will. Where a person dies intestate (that is without having made a valid will) a grant of Letters of Administration may be made to the proper person, usually the nearest next of kin, which confers on the Administrator powers and duties similar to those of an Executor. If the deceased made a will but failed to appoint an Executor a grant of Letters of Administration with Will Annexed may be made to a person interested in the deceased’s estate (usually the person to whom the residue of the estate has been left). The term ‘personal representative’ applies both to an Executor and an Administrator. The grant allows the monies in the estate of the deceased to be collected, debts to be paid and the assets to be distributed.


Is a grant always necessary?

When a person dies he/she may leave assets such as bank accounts, a house, land, shares or insurance policies. Before the assets can be distributed, it will usually be necessary to apply for a grant of representation. However, if a person dies and leaves no assets, there is usually no need to apply for a grant as there is no estate to be administered. If a person dies leaving small amounts of money in a bank or building society in his/her own name that bank or building society may agree to release the funds without the necessity for a grant. If a person dies leaving assets which were held by him/her jointly with another person, those assets as a general rule become the sole property of the survivor on the date of death. If a person resident abroad dies leaving assets in this jurisdiction an Irish grant will usually be required to deal with those assets, regardless of whether or not a grant has issued in another country.


In the event of death

When a person dies he/she may leave assets such as bank accounts, a house, land, shares or insurance policies. Before the assets can be distributed, it will usually be necessary to apply for a grant of representation. However, if a person dies and leaves no assets, there is usually no need to apply for a grant as there is no estate to be administered. If a person dies leaving small amounts of money in a bank or building society in his/her own name that bank or building society may agree to release the funds without the necessity for a grant. If a person dies leaving assets which were held by him/her jointly with another person, those assets as a general rule become the sole property of the survivor on the date of death. If a person dies leaving assets in this jurisdiction an Irish grant will be required to deal with those assets, regardless of whether or not a grant has issued in another country.