Nothing can adequately prepare us for the death of a loved one and being responsible for executing their will means extra stress which can often be overwhelming.

Most people have little experience with wills and the legalities related to administering an estate, so we have put together some brief answers to the most common questions we hear.

What is Probate?

Probate is the court process by which a will is proved valid or invalid. When a person dies, the executors of their will take over and apply to the Probate Office to take out a grant of Probate. A grant of Probate is the court’s decision that the deceased’s will is valid and this gives authority to the executors to administer the estate.

Although a property can be marketed and can go sale agreed, the sale cannot close without a grant of Probate being secured.

How to sell a house in Probate.

There is little difference between selling your own home and selling a house in probate except from the delays that can be involved in securing the Grant of Probate. This can vary depending on how busy the Probate office is and how large the estate is.

It is advisable to list the property for sale and apply for probate at the same time and while your estate agent is finding the right purchaser, you can be completing the process.

How to speed up the Grant of Probate.

Being sale agreed on the property will speed up the Grant of Probate. When your solicitor informs the probate office that the property is Sale Agreed, they will prioritise it, to avoid the sale falling through. This urgency means that Probate can be obtained in just a matter of weeks.

What documents are needed for grant of probate?

There is a certain amount of paperwork that you could prepare in advance of applying for the grant of probate with the courts

  • All personal details regarding the deceased ie. PPS, DOB, etc.
  • A photocopy of the original will and any attachments or amendments.
  • Names and Addresses of all beneficiaries to the estate.
  • A copy of the death certificate.
  • A full list of assets in the estate incl title deeds etc.
  • A valuation of the property at the time of death.
  • Details of any debts held incl funeral bills, loans etc.
  • An Inland Revenue affidavit declaring the deceased’s tax position (2 copies)

What is a probate valuation?

A Probate valuation is required for the grand of Probate to be secured. It is a valuation of the deceased’s property at the time of their death. The valuation can be completed at any time and back dated by the Estate Agent.

The longer we have to back date the valuation, the more research it can take but in general terms, we would provide an accurate written valuation within a day or two of the site visit. An up to date valuation would also be provided should you wish to list the property for sale.

Should I consult a solicitor?

Yes. Legal advice should be sought for the sale of any property. The legalities related to selling a Probate property can be quite complex. You will find a list Dublin solicitors here

and don’t forget to contact Earnest for free advice on any of this.