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Irish Probate Terms, What Do They Really Mean?

Simple Probate

2 min read

Feb 28




Probate is a legal process that happens after someone has died. It is the process of legally distributing the deceased's assets. Here are some concepts and terms to be familiar with.

A Will

A will is a legal document that was written by the deceased. It outlines how a person's assets and possessions should be distributed after death. It also appoints an executor to carry out the instructions in the will.

The Executor

An executor is a person appointed in the will to administer the deceased person's estate. Their responsibilities include gathering assets, paying debts, and distributing the estate according to the will.


This is the legal term for the person who makes their will. Testatrix is the female of the term.


A beneficiary is a person or entity named in the will to receive assets from the deceased person's estate. Beneficiaries can be individuals, organizations, or charities.

The Estate

The estate refers to all the deceased person's assets, possessions, and liabilities. This includes property, bank accounts, investments, and debts.

Grant of Probate

A Grant of Probate is a legal document issued by the court that confirms the will's validity and gives the executor the authority to administer the estate.

Letters of Administration

If someone dies without a will, the court can appoint an administrator to manage the estate through Letters of Administration. It is simply a document that will authorise the executor to distribute assets.

Inheritance Tax

Inheritance Tax or Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) is a tax imposed on the beneficiaries receiving assets or money from the estate of the deceased. In Ireland, there are specific rules and exemptions related to inheritance tax.


The residue of the estate refers to the remaining assets after all debts, expenses, and specific bequests have been paid or distributed.


This is when a person dies without a valid will, they are said to have died intestate. In such cases, the distribution of the estate is governed by intestacy laws.


This is a term for a specific gift that is left to someone in a will.


A codicil is a legal document that amends, revokes, or adds to the provisions of a will. It must be executed with the same formalities as a will.


These are the people who watch or 'witness' the will being made and they sign their name at the bottom of the will. A Will must be signed in the presence of two witnesses who cannot be beneficiaries of the Will.


Understanding these probate terms is essential for individuals involved in the estate administration process in Ireland. If you require further information or assistance with probate matters, it is advisable to consult with a legal professional or a probate solicitor.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified legal professional for advice tailored to your specific situation. No liability whatsoever is accepted by Simple Probate from any action taken in reliance of the information contained on this website.

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