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What should I do when my relation dies?

When a loved one dies it can be a very difficult time for the close family members. Decisions have to be made and arrangements made which can be very overwhelming.
We advise our clients that the first practical thing to do is to make the funeral arrangements. Once the funeral is over your relative’s death needs to be registered with the Births, Marriages and Deaths Office, The General Register Office, Government Offices, Convent Road, Roscommon.

Download Application for a Death Certificate from

Did my relation leave a Will?

Once the immediate aftermath of the funeral has passed the relations of the deceased should seek to ascertain if their loved one has left a will. Most people nowadays will execute a will, the original of which will normally be kept at their solicitor’s office. If the relatives are unaware if their relation left a will or not they may need to consider placing an advert in the national newspapers and Law Society Gazette enquiring if anyone would be aware of the whereabouts of such a will.

What do I do if my relation has not left a Will?

If your relation has not left a will then they are deemed to have died Intestate. As such their estate must devolve and pass under the Rules of Intestacy in the Succession Act 1965 as per the diagram below, which shows who is entitled to inherit the estate. In order to administer and distribute your relation’s Estate whether they died Testate or Intestate you should consider contacting your solicitor to initiate the appropriate Administration or Probate procedures on your behalf.

What should I do if my relation left property in a foreign country?

If your relation has left property in a foreign country then the Executor or Administrator of the Estate should seek firstly to establish if their deceased relation left a Will in the particular country. Secondly, the Executor or Administrator should obtain legal advice of a solicitor or lawyer in the particular country in which the property is situated in order to ensure that the property abroad is distributed according to your deceased relation’s wishes.

Is there anything else I should consider?

If your relation has passed away you may be entitled to a Bereavement Grant. This is a once-off payment based on the deceased person’s PRSI payments and other criteria. Application forms can be sent to the Pension Services office, Social Welfare Services Office, College Road, Co. Sligo.
Ph: (071) 69800.

In this difficult time you may find it helpful to avail of Bereavement Counselling. A number of charities also offer assistance and support to the relatives of a loved one who has passed away such as Barnardos, Hospices and various Family Support Agencies and Local Support Groups. At Able Solicitors we can assist and advise you with any legal aspect of your deceased relative’s Estate or if you would simply like to discuss and make your Will.

Inheritance Tax/ Capital Acquisitions Tax on the Estate?
Capital Acquisitions Tax comprises of Gift Tax, Inheritance Tax and Discretionary Trust Tax. The tax is charged on the taxable values of the gift or inheritance. In the tax year commencing 1st January 2010, Children can receive up to €414,799. Parent/Brother/Sister/Niece/Nephew/Grandchild, can receive up to €41,481 free of tax and Cousins / Strangers can receive €20,740.

When an inheritance or gift exceeds the relevant tax free threshold, tax at a rate of 25% applies on the balance. There are exceptions and reliefs which can be availed of to minimize CAT liability such as:

Spouse to Spouse Transfer
Small gift Tax exemption of €3,000
Agricultural Relief
Business Relief
Single Dwelling House Relief
It is important to seek legal and financial advice on the possible tax implications of any gift or inheritance before making a will or planning how one’s estate is to pass. By doing so, one can effectively plan the most tax efficient manner to leave ones estate and/or the implications of same for the proposed beneficiaries involved.