Last month saw a fundamental change in the way applications for Grants of Representation are made in the Courts Service Probate Office and the District Probate Registries. This change improves and streamlines the current process, making it easier and more efficient to complete.
Currently, it takes over 4 months for Grants of Representation to issue, and longer where errors or discrepancies are uncovered. The time lag in obtaining Grants of Representation can cause real difficulties for people.
The most common Grant of Representation is a Grant of Probate which can be obtained where the Deceased person made a Will. When such a Grant issues, it is stated on the face of it that the original Will has been proved and registered and gives the Executor power to deal with and administer the Estate.
Letters of Administration are granted where no Will or no valid Will is in place, or where the Executor dies, or is unable or unwilling to act. Letters of Administration grant powers to an Administrator to gather in the assets of the Estate and to distribute same in accordance with the Succession Act.
Revenue has been working with the Courts Service’s Probate Office on designing a process which aims to make it easier for people to apply for Grants of Representation. They have launched a new online version of the Inland Revenue Affidavit (Form CA.24), called the ‘Statement of Affairs (Probate) Form SA.2’. They hope this will reduce or completely remove the common errors encountered when completing the correct paper form. Once you have completed the form electronically, a Notice of Acknowledgement (Probate) will auto-generate to your MyAccount or ROS inbox. You must print this Notice and submit it (along with any other required papers) to the Probate Office or District Probate Registry in order to have the Grant issued.
The new form will remove the need to complete a follow up Corrective Affidavit (Form CA.26), where errors or omissions are discovered after the form is sent to Revenue. The new form (SA.2) can be amended after a Grant has already issued, if changes needed to be made to details already submitted. The new system will also remove the need to complete a paper Form A3C for second or subsequent Grant applications concerning deaths occurring on or after the 5th December, 2001.
Removing these errors will lead to reduced processing timelines for applications going forward.
NB – this is a guide for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have an issue requiring legal advice, please contact any of the team at Nolan Farrell & Goff, whose numbers can be found on our website – www.nfg.ie