The death of a loved one is always difficult, but this stressful time can be further complicated if there are problems with the administration of the estate of the deceased. In order to protect the interests of your family, it is important to consider how your estate will be administered, and to make a Will that details your wishes clearly.
Making a Will is a straightforward and simple process when you work with an experienced solicitor, and knowing that there will be no unexpected problems to deal with in the event of your death will give you and your family peace of mind. ‘Your Estate’ refers to all property and assets owned at the time of your death.
What Happens To Your Property When You Die:
The way in which your estate is administered is known as probate, and this process will be carried out as follows:
- Assets are frozen. When a person dies, their assets are immediately frozen to prevent any problems with the probate process. This means that no-one can access any money in the bank accounts of the deceased, and that nothing may be sold or removed from property belonging to the deceased. When Probate is completed, assets will be released to those with a Grant of Probate, to whom they will now belong. Exceptions to this include cases where there is not a lot of money in a bank account, and in some circumstances this may be released without a Grant of Probate or with a personal guarantee.
- Joint property ownership. If the deceased has jointly owned a property, ownership will pass to the surviving owner upon the death, regardless of the Will. However, if a property is owned on a ‘tenants in common’ basis, the share owned by the deceased will now belong to those named in their Will.
- Assets are collated. When you make your will, you will specify at least one Executor, who will be responsible for obtaining the Grant of Probate. The Executor(s) will work with the Solicitor of the deceased throughout the Probate process. During this process, all assets belonging to the deceased will be collated, and any outstanding liabilities will be examined. Assets will include property owned by the deceased, as well as any bank accounts and insurance policies held.
- Details are submitted to the Revenue Commissioners. All information regarding the assets and liabilities of the deceased will be disclosed to the Revenue Commissioners, by preparation of an Inland Revenue Affidavit.
- Application forms are submitted to the Probate Office. Your Executor(s) will need to complete the relevant application forms and submit these to the Probate Office, who will consider each application and issue the Grant of Probate when it is satisfied.
- Estate is distributed. When in possession of the Grant of Probate, the Executor(s) will be responsible for distributing all assets according to the specifications of the Will. At this point, bank accounts can be accessed, shares can be sold, and property titles can be transferred or sold according to the Will.
To avoid any unnecessary delays or complications in the probate process, you should make a Will with an experienced Wills and probate solicitor. This is the best way to ensure that your estate is administered in accordance with your wishes after your death. It is helpful to include a list of all of your assets, including bank accounts and insurance policies, with the Will. We recommend that you keep a copy of your Will and inform your next of kin where this is kept, and that your solicitor holds the original.
Find Probate Solicitors in Cork
Here at Irwin, Kilcullen & Co. Solicitors, we have a great deal of experience in making Wills for our clients. Your Will should be regularly updated and you should review it each time your circumstances change. Our experienced solicitors will be happy to discuss how we can help you when you contact us online or call us today on +021 4270934.