Probate and Estate Administration Initial Steps
What are the initial steps you need to take when a loved one has died?
- It is necessary to go through the deceased’s papers which will help to identify the assets and liabilities of the estate. These include Bank/Building Society statements, insurance policies, shares, stocks and title deeds
- The insurance cover on property or other valuable assets should be checked
- It may be wise to remove valuables, turn off the mains water, install additional locks and alarms in the deceased’s home and informing neighbours, the insurance company and the local Garda Station that the house is unoccupied
- Gather together and protect all the deceased’s assets such as money, shares and property. Valuations of all the assets and liabilities of the estate must be obtained setting out their value at the date of death
- Tax liabilities and any debts owed must be dealt with. If the deceased person dies insolvent or there isn’t enough money to meet the bequests then payments from the estate as prioritised as follows – funeral, testamentary and administration expenses, creditors who have security against the property of the deceased, preferential debts (mainly taxes due) and then all other creditors.
- Call in any outstanding funds due, this is money owing to the deceased
- Pay the funeral expenses
- Make sure that the spouse or civil partner and children know about their legal right share
- Make sure the entitled beneficiaries or next of kin get what they are entitled to, and that ownership of property is passed on correctly
- If the deceased was receiving a social welfare payment, you must inform the Department of Social Protection of the death before distributing the estate
- Supply a PPS number
One of the best things I experienced was the personal touch. It can be daunting dealing with solicitors and I never felt like a hindrance. Gary was always available on the phone and email for me and always responded very quickly. I know of an elderly person dealing with Gary who really appreciated being able to meet face to face in a place where she felt comfortable. I think both types of meetings are great as clients have various needs which were met very easily in the way SOS operates.
Friendly, easy to talk to, professional support from start to finish. The service was exceptional, communication was timely and never overbearing. Everything was explained clearly along with expected timelines for completion. The team went above and beyond to sort out any issues that may have arisen during the process. Overall, very satisfied with the service.
What we found best was the professionalism of the service overall, the confidentiality, empathy and understanding. Communication was always clear in both e-mail and in person. Response times to e-mails, and meetings, was very good. I believe your fees are very competitive, and good value for your service.
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