Why Make a Will? And what is Probate

Added: Thursday, January 01, 1970

We all cope in different ways when someone close to us passes away. It can be a confusing and upsetting time in our lives, but it is important to know what needs to be done and that John Nash Solicitors in Loughrea, County Galway can help. You may wonder what will happen the deceased's assets, property, pensions or shares. A good way to prepare for this is to make sure there is an up-to-date will. An up-to-date will will take account of new family members or new assets.

A will should be prepared by a professional to ensure total clarity and also to avoid it being invalid for the want of it being drafted in the correct format as is required by the Probate Office. A will must be created whilst having (in the eyes of the law) the mental capacity to do so. As we can never tell when the onset of mental illness may occur, it's important to have a Will in place throughout adult life.

Without a Will, the law of Intestacy applies and these laws suscribed mainly by the Succession Act 1965, nominate who will receive the estate. Without a will the estate will go to a spouse, biological child or civil partner, but not  a cohabiting partners, step child or friend. By creating a will you are setting out your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of minor children.

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal authority to adminsiter the estate of the person who has passed, in accordance with the will if one exists and in accordance with the laws of Intestacy if a will does not exist. One or more people can be given this authority.

Probate involves corresponding with the Probate Office which is a division of the High Court, the Revenue Commissioners as well as other financial institutions that the deceased had assets with. It is the collection of assests, settling of debts and taxes and the correct distribution of the remainder in accordance with the laws of intestacy or the Will. It is our job as solicitors to do this work on behalf of the executor( who is named in the will)  or legal represeantive( where there is no will) of the estate and to guide and advise them throught the whole process of Probate

What is a Grant of Representation?

Where a will has been made a Grant of Probate will eventually issue from the Probate Office. In cases of intestacy a grant known as Letters of Administration will issue. These Grants of Representation are legally binding, making the person(s) named liable for administering the estate. 

Who has the right to apply for a Grant of Probate?

You have a right to apply for a Grant of Representation if you are either:

  • the executor that is named in the Will
  • the next of kin (under thte laws of intestacy) if there is no will.
Here at John Nash Solicitors we will guide the Executor and next of kin in carrying out their duties as personal represtatives of the estate. Please contact our office, John Nash Solicitors, Abbey Street, Loughrea if you  know or think you are the person entitle to act as the personal representative of a deceased and we will be happy to assist you.

We would urge everyone to consider making their will in order to make it easier for those you leave behind who must  look after your affairs.