Probate & Why You Need It - A Simple Explanation

 Before the assets of a deceased person can be accessed or distributed it is necessary (except in very low value cases) to take out a grant of Probate (Will) or Administration (no Will).

Taking out the grant is the process whereby the Revenue Commissioners approve the estate for tax purposes and the Probate Office of the High Court certifies that the Will was validly made. Until then the Will is little more than a piece of paper.

The obligations and responsibilities taken on by an Executor of a Will or the Administrator of an estate are extensive and personal. They include responsibility to take all necessary steps to protect the estate from loss or damage, pay any outstanding bills and distribute the remainder strictly as specified in the Will or, if there is no Will, under the rules of intestacy.

Obtaining a grant of Probate or Administration means:

  • you are officially recognised as the person with authority to deal with the estate,
  • you can legally sign over property,
  • you have a far greater degree of protection, especially if there are claims against the estate,
  • third parties (for example banks or insurance companies) will deal with you. This will allow funds to be gathered in and distributions made.

Probate or Administration is an involved and intricate process and one where you need legal advice.

If you would like more information or have any query on a Probate or Administration matter please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone Tom Barry 01 6773434.


Thomas Barry & Company Solicitors


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11 St. Stephen's Green,
Dublin 2.
Tel: + 353 1 677 3434
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