We Can Help

We enjoy working with beneficiaries. You may be named in a Will or you may be entitled on intestacy. Sometimes information is not forthcoming from the Executor and you may need information from an expert. You may not have any intention of contesting matters, you are just looking for guidance and representation. You may be living abroad. We can help.

Prior Gift Form

As a beneficiary, you may be asked to provide a ‘Prior Gift Form’ which outlinens details of your pps number and any previous gift or inheritance you may have received. Very often we may be living outside of the jurisdiction and so do not have the appropriate tax number.

If you have any queries on this or would like to get details of how to go about applying for an Irish Tax Number, please contact us to arrange a consultation.

Get in Touch

Through our media involvement, we get lots of interesting queries, here is an interesting question from a listener to the Claire Byrne radio show.

My biological father hasn’t told his children about me. He is reaching the later years in life now & I’m curious to know where I stand.
Thanks, P

We are not clear if this listener is adopted or not so lets look at both scenarios.

* If this listener is not adopted;
We should remember the Status of Children Act 1987. This Act equalized the rights of children and amended the law relating to a child’s status pertaining to succession and other property rights.

This listener will have the same rights as the other children.

You will need proof that he is your father, his name is on your birth cert of if not, you will need to apply to Circuit Court for a declaration of parentage- DNA.

* If this listener is adopted;

Again we should bear in mind the Status of Children Act, Section 3(2) specifically. This provides that an adopted person shall be deemed from the date of the adoption order to be the child of the adopted parents, not the child of any other person. Therefore an adopted child is not entitled to any portion of their biological parents estate. So if your biological father dies without a Will, you wouldn’t be entitled to any share. Similarly if your biological father dies with a Will, say he leaves all his other children you wouldn’t have any recourse, eg Sec 117.

** Interestingly though since the Finance Act 2001, adopted children have Group A CAT Thresholds from both adopted and biological parents. So if you biological father made a Will and named you as beneficiary, you would have the higher threshold.

Why is there no time limit to apply for probate after a death? If a beneficiary of a will has to wait until this process is finalized, does this mean they may never get their inheritance? Is the onus on the solicitor to move this forward? What happens if the solicitor fails to do so?

An Executor has a grace period of 1 year to get things sorted. This is known as an Executors year. The Succession Act 1965, specifically section 62.—(1) The personal representatives of a deceased person shall distribute his estate as soon after his death as is reasonably practicable having regard to the nature of the estate, the manner in which it is required to be distributed and all other relevant circumstances, but proceedings against the personal representatives in respect of their failure to distribute shall not, without leave of the court, be brought before the expiration of one year from the date of the death of the deceased.

After that a beneficiary has options. But as this listener has pointed out there is no obligation to apply for a grant or liability for a failure or refusal to take out a grant.

But there is recourse available. A beneficiary can issue a Citation, calling upon he Executor to extract the Grant. Swear an Affidavit setting out the facts, Gemma is named as Executrix, the beneficiary has written to Gemma / her solicitors and attach copy of the various letters or emails, nothing has been done, ask the court to make an order, so that Gemma is no longer entitled to act as Executrix and you can go ahead. Also make an application for costs to be paid by Gemma.

As regards the role of the solicitor, he or she can only act on the instructions given. So if Gemma doesn’t give any instructions, the solicitors hands are tied. Different scenario if Gemma has given instructions and costs are agreed but yet matters have not progressed. In those circumstances, we’re looking at what we discussed at the outset.