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In order to have the authority to administer the estate a legal document called a Grant of Representation must be extracted by the legal personal representative. The two most common types are a Grant of Probate (where there is a will and the named executor extracts the Grant of Probate) and a Grant of Administration Intestate (where the deceased dies without making a will). Less frequently a situation arises where there is a will but the named executor(s) predeceased the testator (the deceased) or is unwilling to act, the appropriate Grant in this case is a Letter of Administration with Will Annexed.

The process is broadly similar although an application for a Grant of Probate is a more straightforward process. In all cases it is necessary to complete an Inland Revenue Affidavit which details the assets and liabilities of the Estate, the benefits and the beneficiaries. This Affidavit, the original will if applicable, together with an Oath of the Executor or Administrator and other documentation form the probate application. The application must be lodged in the Probate Office in person where queries maybe raised. The application will not be accepted until the Probate Officer is satisfied that all documentation is in order.

Once accepted by the Probate Office, one can expect a waiting time anytime between 4-8 weeks. It will be possible to get an estimation of the waiting time from the Probate Officer at the time of acceptance of the application.

Once the Grant issues one can progress with the administration of the estate, the complexity of which will vary from case to case depending on the amount of assets to be collected, liabilities and beneficiaries to be paid, whether there is a trust involved, tax returns to be made and clearances to be received etc

Taxation often forms a large part of the administration of an estate in the form of Capital Acquisition Tax Returns and Clearances and possibly Capital Gains Tax and Income Tax. In cases where an individual has taken estate planning advise at the time of making his/her will, it often can reduce the potential tax liability at the time of the administration of the estate.


As is the case in other areas of practice, solicitor's fees are often based on a percentage of the estate. We do not charge a fee on this basis as this can lead to an inequitable charging system. Take for example the case of a probate involving one spouse leaving his/her entire estate to the other spouse and the majority of the estate being made up of the family home valued at €1 million and a second case of a man dying leaving a wife from whom he is separated (though not legally) and a second partner and family with an entire estate valued at €300,000.00. If one were to charge a flat percentage fee of 2%, neither fee charged would reflect the work involved considering the latter case which would be a far more complex case. Therefore, B. O'Neill Solicitors will be happy to give an estimate of the fee that we would intend to charge based on the amount of work that one would expect to be involved, and not based on a percentage of the value of the estate.

Contact us for a quote.

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