Administration of an estate: gathering in and distributing the assets of a deceased person, according to the instructions set out in their will or to the rules of intestacy if they had not made a will.

Administrator: the person tasked with dealing with affairs of a deceased person. This will be an executor if the deceased had made a will or the next of kin (usually) where there was no will. A female in the role can be known as an administratrix.

Bequest: a gift of land or real property, such as a house in a will.

Beneficiary: a person or organisation who is given a gift under a will or is entitled to inherit under the rules of intestacy if there is no will.

CAT/ Inheritance Tax: Capital Acquisitions Tax which is payable on an inheritance. Spouses do not pay tax on inheritances, and there are differing tax-free thresholds for other beneficiaries.

Codicil: An update or addition to a will which may make a change to without revoking the original will.

Death Certificate: A formal document issued by the State upon the death of an individual. It states the personal details of the deceased, as well as the cause of death. It is required in order to begin the process of probate.

Deed of Family Arrangement or Deed of Variation: A formal agreement between beneficiaries to distribute the assets of the deceased otherwise than as set out in the will.

Estate: The assets, entitlements and liabilities of a deceased person.

Execution: The signature on a formal document, such as a will, which follows particular requirements for witnesses.

Executor: The person selected by a testator to carry out their stated wishes after their death. A female in this role can be referred to as an executrix.

Grant of Probate: Permission from the High Court to distribute the assets of a deceased person as per the instructions given in a will.

Guardian: In there will, a deceased parent may make provision for the care of their minor children. A person named as a guardian will be entitled to step into the role of the parent in order to make decisions on the upbringing of the children. The guardian may be a different person to the trustee.

Intestacy: When a person dies without having made a valid will (dies intestate). The rules of intestacy set out in the Succession Act 1965 provides the order of the priority in which the next of kin will inherit.

Legacy: A gift of money or personal property (such as jewellery or artwork) in a will. The person who receives a legacy is known as the legatee or the beneficiary.

Legal Right Share: A married person is entitled a portion of the estate of their spouse (in most circumstances). This right overrules any instructions given in a will.

Letters of Administration: permission from the High Court to distribute the assets of a deceased person who has not made a will. The distribution will follow the rules of intestacy.

Personal Representative: This is the person who is responsible for settling the affairs of the deceased person; the administrator or the executor. They may also be referred to as the Legal Personal Representative or LPR.

Probate: The process of becoming entitled to deal with the assets of a deceased person.

Proving a Will: Submitting will to the High Court in order to be issued with a Grant of Probate. After the probate process, the will is deemed to be proved.

Renunciation: A person may renounce or choose not to accept a legacy, bequest or entitlement. In such circumstances the benefit will go to the residuary beneficiary in the will or will follow the rules of intestacy.

Revenue Affidavit: Previously also known as a CA24 and currently known as a Statement of Affairs or SA2 form. This is a detailed form stating the values of the assets and liabilities of the deceased. It is submitted to Revenue for approval prior to making an application for a Grant of Probate.

Revenue Return or IT38: Where a person has received an inheritance, they are obliged to make a declaration to Revenue, as to their tax liability, before October in each year. If tax is payable on the inheritance, this declaration must be accompanied by the monies payable.

Rules of Intestacy or Intestate Succession: Where a person dies without having made a valid will or without having fully disposed of all their assets in their will, their assets are distributed by closeness of family relationship, and the rules are set out in the Succession Act 1965.

Succession Act 1965: The law that governs how and by whom the property of deceased people is distributed. It sets out the requirements for a valid will, as well as when a will may be challenged, and what occurs to a deceased person’s assets if they have not made a will.

Succession: The process of inheriting assets from a person who has died.

Survivorship: Where two people jointly own a property, in many cases the property will automatically become the sole property of the survivor when one of the owners dies. This is known as survivorship. There is no need to apply for a grant of probate. Sometimes joint owners chose to own property as Tenants in Common, in which case their respective shares of the property will pass as per their will or on the rules of intestacy, rather than by survivorship.

Testator: A person who has made a will. Any person of sound mind over the age of 18 years may make a will, and may change or revoke a will at any time up until their death. A female testator may be referred to as a testatrix.

Testamentary: relating to the wishes of a person as to how their assets will be divided after their death.

Trust: A testator may choose to have one person control a gift for the benefit of another, in a situation known as a trust. The person controlling the gift is known as a trustee and must act in the best interest of the beneficiary. A trust may be used where a beneficiary is a child or where they are not capable of managing their own affairs.

Will or Last Will and Testament: A document made during a person’s lifetime, which expresses how they wish for their assets to be distributed after their death. A will must follow certain rules and formalities in order to be valid.

Witness: To be valid, a will must be witnessed by two people. These witnesses sign their names on the will and may be called upon to answer questions as to the validity of the will.

The above is provided for information purposes and is not intended as legal advice. We, at Fitzsimons Redmond, would be happy to talk to you about making a will, reviewing a will or dealing with the estate of a deceased person. Please contact us on 01-676 3257.

By Lisa Quinn O’Flaherty

Partner at Fitzsimons Redmond LLP