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While most of us may not like to contemplate it, the reality is that we are all going to die at some stage. It is vitally important to address the area of estate planning so that a person’s estate is distributed in accordance with his or her wishes and in a tax efficient manner. There is a common expression that “where there’s a will there’s a law suit”. Frequently, a badly drafted will, or inefficient estate planning can lead to disputes after a person’s death and it is important to ensure that your loved ones are provided for and protected after your die, and that your will is unlikely to result in family disputes.

Probate is the first step in the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property under a will. Where a person dies without making a will the estate is distributed according to the laws of intestacy. In both cases an application is made to the High Court Probate Office for a Grant of representation.

There are different types of Grant, the most usual being as follows:

  • Grant of Probate – Where the deceased died having left a will or “testate”
  • Grant of Letters of Administration Intestate: Where the deceased died without having made a will, or “intestate”.
  • Grant of Letters of Administration with Will Annexed: Where the deceased died testate but where the named personal representatives in the will are deceased, unwilling or unable to extract the grant.
  • Grant of Letters of Administration de bonis non: This is a second or subsequent grant dealing with matters not dealt with in the original Grant.

The Grant entitles the personal representative to collect the estate assets, discharge any liabilities and distribute the estate to the beneficiaries.

At O’Donnell McKenna Solicitors, we have many years experience in dealing with estates and the various complications that can arise.

If you would like us to help you, or if you would simply like to have a chat to discuss your options, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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