PROBATE SOLICITOR CORK AND DUBLIN
Unfortunately a close friend of mine died recently. Prior to his death, when he was quite ill, I assisted him in his home and on his farm for a number of years. During this time my friend promised that he would bequeath me something in his last will and testament. To date I have not been contacted and have not heard any information about whether he left a will or not. Is it possible for me to find out more information?
Probate solicitors Cork and Dublin
Thank you for getting in touch with Walsh and Partners Solicitors. Let me first extend my sympathies to you on the death of your friend. I’m sure it is a difficult time for you.
At this time I believe you require the assistance of a probate solicitor. Let me give you some further information:
Locating a Will:
In all circumstances the solicitor who prepared the last/original will will retain it. The family of your friend who has passed will have the contact details for the solicitor and they will have contacted the probate solicitor upon his death. If for some reason the family or friends do not know which solicitor drafted the will, the probate solicitor will write to all local solicitors in order to ascertain whether they hold the will for your friend. If or when the will has been located and the correct solicitor identified, they will contact the executor of the will and let them know that your friend has nominated them as executor.
It is however important to note that your friend may not have left a will, despite what may have been discussed between the two of you.
Probate Lawyer Cork
Probate: The Administration of the Estate
Once the executor of the will has been contacted, they will then extract a grant of probate to the estate of your friend. When we talk about probate we refer to the legal term used to describe the procedure that gives the executor the authority to carry out the wishes in the will. The executor of your friend’s will, will need to apply to the High Court in order to deal with any assets that need to be distributed. The High Court will then issue a document that is referred to as a ‘Grant of Probate’.
A grant of probate is necessary because at the time of your friend’s death their assets would have been frozen, so any bank accounts or land cannot be touched until this has been issued. If your friend neglected to leave a will, this grant will still be required in order to distribute any assets (Grant of Administration Intestate).
If your friend did leave a will and you have been named to receive an inheritance, you will receive a letter to notify you of this. You will only be contacted if you are named in the will and unless the executor grants their permission you will not receive a copy of the will. You can however view the will at a later date once it has been lodged with the Probate office and becomes a public document. Should you wish to view the document at this stage you can do so by visiting the local Probate Office or via a postal request for a nominal fee. A grant of probate must be extracted in order for the will to be available from the Probate Office. On occasion where there is no real property or minimal monetary funds, assets may be released without obtaining a grant of probate.
If your friend owned their own house or farm as you mentioned in your letter and it was owned solely in their name, a grant will be required. In some circumstances where your friend co-owned assets, the surviving owner may automatically receive full ownership. If you were bequeathed the residue of the remaining estate, you may have to wait until the estate has been finalised before you find out how much you will receive.
Where you have been left a share in the residue of the estate, you may receive a letter from your friend’s solicitor to outline the costs of administering the estate. You will then be entitled to receive an account of all times and what funds you may be entitled to, this is known as the executors account.
Wills and Probate Solicitor Dublin
Should you require further information about wills and probate, please get in touch with our probate team here at Walsh and Partners Solicitors. We are available through our Cork and Dublin Offices and are happy to provide you with expert legal advice in a timely manner.