Probate or the administration of estates refers to the management of a deceased's assets and liabilities. In order to have the authority to distribute and manage a deceased's estate, it is necessary to apply to the Probate office for a Grant of Representation. This is the case where the gross value of the estate exceeds €25, 0000.00. Where the value of the whole estate is less than €25, 0000.00 most financial institutions will release funds on receipt of an executor’s indemnity. The banks will generally pay out the costs of the funeral on receipt of the death certificate and signed authority, without the need for a grant, if the funds are available. 

There are 4 types of Grants of Representation.

  1. Grant of Probate (where there is a Will)
  2. Grant of Administration Intestate (where there is no Will)
  3. Grant of Administration with Will Annexed (where a deceased dies leaving a Will but where a person other than the named executor is proceeding to extract the Grant and
  4. A De Bonis Non Grant of Administration (where a personal representative has extracted Probate but dies prior to fully completing the administration)



Step 1

Ascertain whether a Will exists, the Location of that Will and whether or not the Will is valid.


Step 2

Determine the correct person to extract the Grant, whether it be a named Executor, a Next of Kin or a Nominated Person.


Step 3

Identify the beneficiaries, whether same is a named beneficiary in a Will or in accordance with the rules of intestacy, and confirm whether or not any of the beneficiaries have received a prior gift and or inheritance.

Step 4.

Establish the value of the estate, which may require the following;

  • Auctioneers valuation of real property
  • Certificates of balance from financial institutions
  • Registrars or Stockbrokers valuation of shareholdings.

In order to find the Net value of the estate it is then necessary to determine any debts or liabilities on the estate such as the following;

  • Funeral Costs
  • Mortgage
  • Life Loans
  • Credit card debt etc.

Step 5

Complete an Inland Revenue Affidavit which is a schedule of the assets and liabilities of the deceased that the person extracting the grant believes to be true and accurate, and a list of beneficiaries due to inherit more than €16,750, unless the beneficiary is a spouse.

The Inland Revenue Affidavit is then lodged to the probate office together with other documents determined by the circumstances (see list below). The time the probate office takes to issue the grant can vary, depending on the time of year and the complexity of the application. The time can range between 12 and 24 weeks. A grant can be expedited in certain circumstances.

Step 6

Confirm whether any pension overpayments were made to the deceased.


Step 7

The Grant is issued by the Probate Office and a certified copy is sent to the various financial institutions who will release funds on receipt. Contracts for the sale of property can be executed 7 days after the Grant is issued.


Step 8

Discharge any debts on the estate and distribute any balance either in accordance with the Will or where there is no Will, in accordance with the rules of Intestacy.


Step 9

Calculate whether a beneficiary is liable to inheritance tax. A table of the current inheritance tax thresholds is available here. If a beneficiary comes within 80% of their threshold it is necessary to submit an IT38 form to the revenue. It is necessary for all beneficiaries to sign a previous gift form prior to a Grant being extracted.


Step 10

Account for all monies collected and disbursed. 

Other Documents which may be required include the following,

  • Original Death Certificate (always required)
  • Will
  • Oath of Executor
  • Renunciation of Executor
  • Affidavit of Attesting Witness
  • Affidavit of Plight & Condition
  • Affidavit of testamentary capacity
  • Charitable bequest form
  • Court Orders


If the deceased is survived by

  • Spouse or civil partner but no children - spouse/civil partner receives entire estate

Spouse or civil partner and children - spouse/civil partner receives two-thirds, one-third is divided equally between children (if a child has already died their children take a share)

  • Parents, no spouse/civil partner or children - divided equally (or entirely to one parent if only one survives)
  • Children, no spouse or civil partner - divided equally between children (as above)
  • Brothers and sisters only - shared equally, the children of a deceased brother or sister take the share
  • Nieces and nephews only - divided equally between those surviving
  • Other relatives - divided equally between nearest equal relationship
  • No relatives – given to the State



Group A: A son or daughter of the deceased

Group B: A parent, brother, sister, niece, nephew, grandparent, grandchild, lineal ancestor or a lineal descendant of the deceased

Group C: People with a relationship to the deceased not already covered in Groups A or B.

CAT thresholds for inheritances or gifts

# Group A Group B Group C
On or after 10/10/2018 €320,000€32,500€16,250
12/10/2016 - 09/10/2018€310,000€32,500€16,250
14/10/2015 - 11/10/2016€280,000€30,150€15,075
06/12/2012 - 13/10/2015€225,000€30,150€15,075
07/12/2011 - 05/12/2012€250,000€33,500€16,750

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