Probate Litigation

We, at Brendan Kelly Solicitors have a team of experienced Solicitors who deal extensively in probate disputes and litigation. We understand how difficult it can be to bring an action for and on behalf of an Estate, or alternatively, against an Estate. We have consistently and successfully represented Executors, Administrators, Beneficiaries and children of the deceased in the Circuit Court, the Superior Courts, and through mediation and dispute resolution.

We consistently and successfully represent and advise clients in relation to the following areas:

  • The capacity of the deceased
  • Presumed or actual undue influence on the deceased
  • A death bed gift
  • Being left out of your parent/guardian’s Will
  • Being promised a gift/inheritance that you have not received
  • The poor administration of an Estate Fraud or concealment in the administration of the deceased’s Estate
  • The construction of the deceased’s Will

If you have a query in relation to any of the areas above, or any other area of concern, and would like specialist advice, please contact our team of Solicitors today who will be glad to advise and direct you towards resolving your concern as smoothly and effectively as possible.

We will always provide our advice in a clear and concise manner, and we will keep you fully informed of the progress on your case and the costs involved at all times.


4 + 8 =

Probate FAQs

What is Probate?

Probate is the process of dealing the estate of a deceased person who made a valid will before they died. Usually, the deceased will have named an executor in their will and this person is charged with the role of dealing with the estate with the assistance of one of our probate Solicitors.
If the deceased did not make a will, the process is called administration.

How long does Probate take?

Depending on the nature of the estate and considering the circumstances of the assets of the deceased, this firm receives the Grant of Probate from the Probate Office within six months from the initial consultation. To ensure this timeline is adhered to, we ask that executors bring all documentation in their possession relative to the estate with them to the initial consultation.

Is a Grant of Probate always required?

A Grant of Probate is not required if the deceased held all their assets in joint names as they pass to the survivor under the rules of survivorship.

If, for example, the deceased held their property in joint names but held a bank account with less than €25,000 deposited in their sole name, the estate can be administered as a Small Estate. However, if the deceased held an interest in land or shares in Ireland in their sole name, a Grant of Probate is always needed, and our specialist Solicitors are on hand to assist you.

What is a Grant of Administration?

A Grant of Administration is required where the deceased died without having made a Will. Usually, a person entitled to the deceased’s assets on their death has a consequent entitlement to extract a Grant of Administration and deal with their estate.

What should I do when a relative dies?

We appreciate the traumatic effects the death of a loved one can have on families, relatives, carers, and friends. We make every effort to ensure that the process of dealing with the deceased’s affairs is as seamless and painless as possible.

We would advise that funeral arrangements be made by the family or those caring for the deceased and thereafter, a death certificate should be applied for. If you wish for one of our specialist probate Solicitors to assist you in retrieving funds from the deceased’s account to pay for their funeral costs, please contact us today. Usually, a death certificate will be required by the financial institution and if you are experiencing difficulty in obtaining one, please contact us for assistance.

Did a relative leave a will?

Once the funeral of the deceased has concluded, we would advise that you should conduct a search to locate a Will, if the deceased made a Will before they died. It is usual that the original of the Will is retained at the Solicitors office where they made the Will and that a copy may be stored at the deceased’s home.
Please contact us if you are experiencing difficulty in locating the deceased’s Will or you would like advice upon having located the Will, please contact one of our specialist probate Solicitors today.

What should I do if my relative has not left a will?

If your relative did not make a Will, they are deemed to have died intestate and their estate will be dealt with under the process of administration. What that means for beneficiaries is that the rules of intestacy apply to their respective shares. We would advise that you contact one of our probate Solicitors today for advice on the person entitled to administer their estate and we have set out below the order of inheritance entitlement on an intestate estate.

  • If the deceased died leaving a spouse/civil partner but no children, the spouse/civil partner gets the entire estate.
  • If the deceased died leaving spouse/civil partner and children, the spouse/civil partner gets two-thirds of the estate, the remaining one-third of the estate is divided equally between children and, if a child has already died, his/her children take the share of the pre-deceased parent equally between them.
  • If the deceased died leaving parents, no spouse/civil partner and no children, estate divided equally to both parents or entirely to one parent if only one survives.
  • If the deceased died leaving children and no spouse/civil partner, the estate is divided equally between deceased’s children.
  • If the deceased died leaving brothers and sisters only, the estate is divided equally between the deceased’s siblings. The children of a pre-deceased sibling are entitled to receive that sibling’s share of the estate in equal shares.
  • If the deceased died leaving nieces and nephews only, the estate is divided equally between those surviving the deceased.
  • If the deceased died leaving other relatives, the estate is divided equally between nearest equal relationship. In this case, lineal is preferred over non-linear descendants or ascendants.
  • If the deceased died leaving no relatives, the State is the ultimate beneficiary. However, our team of specialist probate Solicitors employ firms of genealogists who endeavour to locate and trace relatives of the deceased prior to the estate becoming vested in the State.
Can I access deceased relatives’ utility documents?

We appreciate how difficult it can be to have to speak with utility service providers to inform them of the deceased’s death especially since the service provider can usually only speak with the account holder because of the Data Protection legislation. To lift the burden of such tasks, our team of specialist probate Solicitors will notify the provider or entity so that you are spared from the ordeal. We will notify them of the death and advise them of the identity of the executor/administrator to ensure that regular services are maintained.

How are funeral expenses paid?

At Brendan Kelly Solicitors, we appreciate the worry brought to bear on family members in paying funeral costs for the deceased. Usually, the account provider will permit the discharge of funeral costs from the funds retained in the deceased’s account on receipt of a Death Certificate from our firm. Our team of specialist probate Solicitors will ensure that these costs are paid as early as possible and can be done prior to the Grant of Probate issuing.

What if your relation left property in another country?

Our team of probate Solicitors advise that a search should be conducted to locate a Will the deceased may have made where that property is situated. If, for example, the deceased left property in the United Kingdom or the USA, a search should be conducted for a Will the deceased may have made in those jurisdictions. Furthermore, legal advice in the appropriate jurisdiction should always be obtained to ensure that the correct procedures are followed in dealing with the entire estate. Out team of probate Solicitors routinely deal with estates in Ireland that also comprise of assets outside of the jurisdiction.

Is there anything else you should consider?

If the deceased left property as part of their estate, the executor or administrator of their estate should ensure that insurance cover is in place on the property. Legal Personal Representatives have the power to ensure assets of the deceased’s estate and should do so in the unfortunate event that use that power accordingly.

What is Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT)?

CAT is a tax on gifts and inheritances. You may receive gifts and inheritances up to a set value over your lifetime before having to pay CAT. Once due, it is charged at the current rate of 33%. Depending on your relationship to the deceased, certain thresholds apply. For accurate advice on potential taxation liabilities, contact one of our specialist probate Solicitors today for your tax calculation.

Can a UK Grant of Probate be resealed in Ireland to access an Irish asset?

Unfortunately, a Grant in the United Kingdom cannot be resealed in Ireland to deal with the Irish estate. The normal rules apply in that if the deceased held personal assets over the value of €25,000, a grant must be extracted.