TRUE OR FALSE – 7 IRISH PROBATE MYTHS EXPLAINED
When it comes to Irish probate, like with many areas of Irish law, there are many myths, speculations and uncertainties out there amongst people which can cause a lot of confusion, expectations and fear of the Irish probate process. When the time comes for a person to need to understand the Irish probate process after the death of a loved one, these uncertainties and confusion are the last thing a person needs. That’s why we, at Probate.ie, have put together this myth busting guide to Irish Probate to confirm the true theories for you and debunk the false misconceptions people in Ireland have about the Probate process, so that when you need it, you can feel confident you know how to approach this subject.
1. ‘You need a solicitor to apply for probate’
…you can make a personal application to the Probate Office providing it is a suitable case. The Irish Probate Office will assist with personal applications but cannot provide legal or taxation advices, this is why most people would turn to a solicitor to ensure that the process is taken care of in an effective and efficient manner. You want to make sure that when choosing a solicitor to help you with your application that you ask about their processes. We know from experience that delays in the Probate office can be stressful for all involved – this is something that can be overcome though with the right processes in place.
2. ‘If more than one executor is appointed they all have to act’
…an executor can choose whether they want to act or not. If they choose to act, they will move through the Irish probate process and assist in administering the deceased’s estate as they wished.
An executor of a will can reserve their rights to act or renounce their entitlement to act. Once an executor has decided to act on behalf of the deceased and then they cannot act any longer a court order is needed to remove the executor of the will. It is important that a person who is thinking about renouncing their entitlement to act seek legal advice as to the consequences for the estate and who is next in line to deal with the deceased’s estate.
3. ‘All executors get paid remuneration for acting’
…this is solely dependent on the wishes set down in the will. If a person puts a clause in their will that entitles the executors to paid remuneration for administering the will, then yes, they will get paid for this. In most cases through, this is not the case, but for those who choose to ‘hire’ professional executors to carry out their wishes from their will, the professional executors are paid remuneration providing a suitable effective charging clause has been included in the will
4. ‘A will becomes a document of public record once a Grant of Probate issues’
…one a grant of probate is issued, copies of the grant of probate and the will are kept on record by the Irish probate office. The Irish probate office hold records for grants that have been issued within the past 20 year. A person can access the grant of probate and will through the Probate Office by paying the appropriate fee and completing the necessary paperwork. The records are kept at the National Archives and may be inspected in the Reading Rooms of the National Archives which is located on Bishop Street in Dublin 8.
5. ‘After someone passes away there must be a reading of their will’
…the first image that comes to mind is one out of a movie, where a stern man/woman arrives at the house with a briefcase and a sheet of paper to do the official will reading – this rarely, if ever happens in Ireland and is one of the most common misconceptions. There is no legal requirement to have a will reading.
When somebody passes away and leaves a will behind to ensure their wishes are met, the appointed executors should know where to find the will and start the process of applying for a grant of probate and then, once the grant issues, proceed to administer the estate as laid out in the will.
6. ‘All next of kin are entitled to a copy of the will after death’
…the only person entitled to see the will is the executor of the will. If a non-executor wants to see the will, they can ask the executor if they know them, to see the will. For beneficiaries listed in the will, although they are not entitled to see a copy of the will, it is common practice for an extract of the will relating to a beneficiary to be provided to them so that they are aware of what inheritance they are going to receive.
7. ‘If all I leave is a family home, I don’t need a will’
…a grant of probate is not always needed when a loved one passes away. In cases where all that is left in the estate of a deceased person is the family home and that family home is held in joint names and joint tenants, the property will automatically pass to the surviving tenant of the property.
Tracey Solicitors LLP’ dedicated Probate Team have a wealth of experience in Irish probate matters, for a confidential discussion please feel free to call Maria Lakes and talk to her first on 00353 (0) 1 649 9900 or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.