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What is probate?


When a person dies, it is sometimes necessary to apply for a grant of representation of a person's estate. This is sometimes referred to as a grant of probate.

It is a formal legal process, which authorises someone to deal with a deceased person's estate, (that is, property, money and other possessions, owned by the deceased at the date of death).

The authority is given in the form of a document called a grant.

» More information on grants in general.

The Probate Office:

Applications for Grants of Representation are processed through the Probate Office/District Probate Registry.

The Principal Probate Registry is located in Dublin. There are fourteen District Probate Registries located outside of Dublin attached to some Circuit Court Offices.

Applications may be made to a District Probate Registry if the deceased had a fixed place of abode within the area of that Registry. Applications may be made to Dublin Probate Office in respect of all deceased persons with property in this jurisdiction.

» More information about the Probate Office.

Solicitor applications for grants of representation.

Because the application for a grant of representation is a formal legal process which can be relatively complex, most applicants instruct a solicitor to process their application.

Solicitor applications are only accepted from solicitors who hold a practising certificate for the Republic of Ireland. Overseas solicitors should instruct a solicitor from the Republic of Ireland to process applications on their behalf.

» More information relating to solicitor applications.

Personal applications for grants of representation.

If you are considering applying as a personal applicant (that is, without the assistance of a solicitor) please read the information in the personal applicants section.

Before proceeding with the administration of an estate on a personal basis, you must be confident of your ability to research and undertake the legal responsibilities associated with same. Otherwise, you are advised to consult a solicitor.

Searches and copy documents.

Information on searches and copy documents in the searches and copies section.

Court applications.

Court applications for the 'non-contentious' probate high court list are processed through the Principal Probate Office in Dublin.

» More information on court applications.

Other matters relevant to the Probate Office.

The Probate Office also deals with caveats, warnings, appearance to warnings, consents, citations, appearances to citations, affidavits of service, side bar order applications, withdrawal of caveats, withdrawal of notice of intention, subpoenas with affidavits, endorsements of plenary summons / testamentary civil bills and notices of intention to apply.

As these areas can be quite technical and it is advisable to consult a solicitor about these matters. The Probate Office does not give legal advice.

More information on most of these items is available in the Rules of the Superior Courts.

Content reviewed: May 2017