2021 Update.

At the time of death of a loved one there are many issues to be dealt with.

The most pressing from a financial point of view is to administer the estate as efficiently as possible so that any funds or property that have to be transferred to beneficiaries or spouses can be accessed.

A couple while alive should have a joint account for the management of their daily life. Understand that once somebody dies all accounts in  a sole name will be frozen until the Grant of Probate issues. This can create hardship on dependents and a little forward thinking would assist greatly to prevent this.

There is provision between the banks in Ireland and the undertakers that the funeral account can be sent directly to the bank . That payment out is the only exception for to the rule that accounts are frozen .

At the early stages of the file the solicitor must send letter called a Section 150 letter to comply with the provisions of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015. This will outline the professional fees taxes and outlays that the Application will incur. You as a client must sign that you accept the terms outlined in that letter before we can can proceed with the file.

Once we get the go ahead to administer an estate then we gather information on bank accounts, appoint an Auctioneer to value the property and locate names and addresses and most importantly PPS numbers for beneficiaries.

Sometimes beneficiaries are abroad and have never had an Irish Social Security number known as a PPS. We have to apply for one even though there may be only a once off payment of their Benefit.

Another requirement is that the beneficiaries must sign a declaration if they have received any previous gifts in Ireland . Their tax exemption is reduced if they had.

If any property is involved it must be valued for inclusion in the Revenue Form.

It is important to understand that until all that information is received  from the beneficiaries we cannot go ahead with completing the Revenue form known as SA2.

This is a new procedure and if anyone wishes to take out grant of probate themselves known as a Personal Application they will have to be computer literate to complete the online form to meet the Revenue requirements.

At present with Covid restrictions some Probate Office are unable to process Personal Applications .They are not in a position to advise on any matters relating to an estate and generally they refer people out to legal advisers with any queries they may have.

Having obtained the PPS numbers and other details listed above we complete the SA2 Form and receive an acknowledgement from Revenue.

The next part is to complete the Oath and Bond which are specific documents to be signed by the person administering the estate known as the Executor.

When all this information is gathered and signed and sworn it is  submitted to the probate office.  If all documents forms and revenue returns are in order that office will issue a grant of probate or letters of administration which allow the solicitor to uplift funds from the financial institutions. At that stage the solicitor will be entitled to be paid fees for work done to date depending on the letter of instruction signed by the client at the start of the file known as a section 150 letter.

Transfer of funds in the age of cyber security must be carefully handled especially again if beneficiaries are abroad. We  request written confirmation of the bank account to which funds are to be sent. We will never seek bank account details by email nor should they ever be sent by email.

If the beneficiaries are within the Irish jurisdiction they are responsible for their own taxation payments. If the beneficiaries are abroad then there’s an obligation on the solicitor to either discharge the amounts directly or withhold funds sufficient to pay the tax on benefits if tax applies. The main tax here is the capital acquisition tax in particular category B which only allows payment of €32,500 to nieces and nephews and brothers and sisters of the deceased.

If there’s anything arising out this blog which you feel needs to be clarified or you would like further information without obligation please do not hesitate to contact us by email or by arrange a Zoom call through our website.