An Overview of Probate Law

Probate is a legal term that refers to the administrative process a person must go through in order to deal with a deceased person’s estate.

So far, so straightforward; however, different circumstances can affect the type of probate granted.
Today we’d like to discuss the circumstances surrounding the grant of probate and how these circumstances can affect the type of probate granted.


Grant of Probate

Circumstances: Probate is granted by the probate office when the deceased left a valid will which appointed an executor.
An executor is the person tasked with carrying out the terms outlined in the will. Irish probate law dictates that the executor must administer the deceased’s estate in accordance with the will.




Grant of Letters of Administration

Circumstances: When a person dies without leaving a valid will.

A little bit more complicated than a grant of probate, the letters of administration are granted to a person – or persons – who were the deceased's nearest next of kin.
This nearest next of kin is deemed according to the Succession Act of 1965.




Grant of Letters of Administration with Will Annexed

Circumstances: When a valid will has been completed by the deceased but a person, who wasn’t named as the executor, applies for the grant of probate.

This type of grant is often requested when the named executor is unable or unwilling to act. This is often the case where the executor has also passed away or otherwise become incapacitated.
In cases involving Grant of Letters of Administration with Will Annexed, the applicant is normally whoever is entitled to the estate's residue e.g. what remains of the deceased estate after all debts and gifts have been settled.

The above is just a very quick overview of the various ways the administration of probate can differ. This surface-level look at probate law may give you an idea of how complex the seemingly straight-forward task of distributing a deceased estate can become. Therefore it’s vitally important to hire a specialist probate solicitor.
If you’d like to learn more about probate law, please see our legal services page, or book a consultation with one of our probate solicitors today.
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