General steps in administering an estate
Instructions must be taken from the personal representatives and information collected about the estate.
Having ascertained the type of grant necessary and having received the copy Inland Revenue affidavit from the Revenue Commissioners with the certificate for the High Court, the solicitor acting for the personal representative will then complete the necessary papers for lodgement in the Probate Office, to obtain the necessary Grant of Representation.
The relevant probate tax, capital acquisitions tax, capital gains tax, income tax and stamp duty implications may all arise in dealing with the estate and must be attended to within the relevant time limits.
After the Grant has issued the solicitor must collect all of the assets and pay all of the outstanding debts of the estate. The estate must then be distributed in accordance with the wishes of the testator if there is a Will.
The final stage of the administration includes deciding the share to which each beneficiary is entitled and the preparation of the necessary accounts of the administration, including certificates of discharge from all taxes and social welfare legislation if applicable.
What if Original Will is missing?
As noted above there is a presumption that when a Will which was last known to be in the possession of the testator cannot be found after death, the testator destroyed it. This presumption can however be rebutted by evidence to the contrary. The person seeking to prove that such a lost Will existed, must establish:
- That the will was duly executed - This can be done by obtaining an affidavit of attesting witness, by somebody present at the time.
- The contents of the will - Somebody may have typed the Will, printed the Will or read the Will, and be aware of its contents and could give an affidavit to this effect or the solicitor involved in drawing up the original will may have kept a photocopy on file. Alternatively an application could be made to court to prove the will in terms of a copy.
What if deceased died without making a Will?
Where a person dies without having made a valid Will, he or she is said to have died Intestate and his estate is distributed in accordance with Part VI of the Succession Act 1965.
Before distribution takes place however, a Grant of Letters of Administration Intestate may need to be extracted in the estate. An entitlement to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration Intestate invariably follows a right to take a share in the estate on intestacy.
The following documents must be lodged in the Probate Office or in the District Probate Registry as appropriate:
- Death Certificate
- Oath of Administrator Intestate
- Typed notice of application or copy of oath
- Affidavit of current market value of land
- Inland Revenue affidavit CA24 - schedule of assets