Wills / Probate / Estate Planning

This practice area deals with all aspects of the transfer of a persons assets or estate after their death. While no-one like to contemplate their own death it is important to ensure that ones next of kin are properly provided for.

Please read this area carefully. If you need advice please contact us. We will advise you in confidence.


A Will is both a simple and a very complex document. On the one hand a Will is simply a set of instructions given by the person making a Will to a named person or persons [the Executor/s] directing how they wish that their assets be distributed after their death. On the other hand however, a Will is a very complex document which should only be made after carefully considering how you wish to dispose of your assets, and having obtained detailed advice at Steen O Reilly Solicitors.

Why Make A Will?

If you have not made a Will, then, any assets you have at the time of your death, will pass to your next of kin in the manner as set out by law.
If you want specific people to inherit specific property then you should make a Will.

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Making A Will

We at Steen O Reilly will advise you about all aspects of making a Will. We will explain in a language you will understand what you need to consider when making a Will. When you have decided who you wish to leave your assets to we will draft a Will which will incorporate your wishes. We will also advise you on any liability your next of kin or the beneficiaries under your Will may have to Capital Acquisitions Tax, or Inheritance Tax, as it is commonly known. You will have to decide who you are going to appoint as your Executor. This is the person you are going to appoint as your Legal Personal Representative and who, after your death, will, with our help and guidance, administer your estate and distribute it in accordance with the terms of Your Last Will and Testament. We will also advise you, if necessary, about the appointment of Guardians or Trustees if some of the proposed beneficiaries are infant children, or are not capable of looking after their own affairs.
You are not under any obligation to disclose the contents of your Will to anyone. Where you make a Will the person or persons named as a beneficiary or beneficiaries in your Will do not gain any entitlement over that property until your death.
You are free to change your Will at any time and as often as you wish.
We encourage our clients to review their Wills from time to time to see if they need to consider changing any of the contents.
While your Will is described as Your Last Will and Testament any new Will cancels and revokes any previous Will.
If you need advice on making a Will or indeed have decided to make a Will please make an appointment to come and meet with one of our team at Steen O Reilly who will be happy to advise and guide you.

Probate / Grant of Administration

The death of a loved one always causes enormous grief, and a great sense of loss and uncertainty. It is also a time of great upset to normal life. We at Steen O Reilly will sensitively advise on how to administer the estate of the deceased. When a person dies, their estate or assets, including Bank Accounts, are frozen until the Grant of Probate or Grant of Administration issues. We will assist in making interim arrangements with Banks and other Institutions to ensure as little inconvenience as possible.  We will advise and guide the bereaved in language which can be understood on how to Administer an Estate. Administering an estate will involve the preparation of the Schedule of Assets, and dealing with the Revenue Commissioners in assessing any liability to Capital Acquisitions Tax, or Inheritance Tax, as it is commonly referred to. We will prepare the necessary documents for the Probate Office, who will issue the Grant of Probate to the Estate of the deceased. This document is the formal appointment of the Executor as the Legal Personal Representative of the deceased. All of this process will be explained in a way that will make sense to you. We will help the Executor to carry out the wishes of the Deceased, and will assist in distributing the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will. All Legacies and Bequests will be transferred to the Beneficiaries. After all of the assets belonging to estate of the deceased have been distributed and each beneficiary has received their inheritance the estate is wound up. If you need advice on the Administration of the estate of a loved one please contact us at Steen O Reilly on a confidential basis.

Grant of Administration

A Grant of Administration is needed when a person dies without making a Will. In such a case the Assets of the deceased person are distributed and inherited in the manner as set out in The Succession Act 1965. In principle the assets of a deceased person go to the nearest next of kin. This can be the Spouse, children, brothers and sisters, or parents of the deceased. Where none of these exist, the assets of the deceased go to the nearest living relatives.
We at Steen O Reilly can advise the next of kin about taking out a Grant of Administration to the estate of a deceased person. The process is very similar to that of taking out a Grant of Probate, but instead of an Executor the Probate Office appoints an Administrator to distribute the estate. We advise and guide the family through this process. Please contact us if you need advice.

Claiming An Inheritance

Do you believe you have been left something in a Will?

Do you believe you are the nearest next of kin of a deceased person and have an entitlement to inherit all or part of their estate?

Do you think you may have a claim against a deceased estate?

Were you led to believe that someone would leave you something in a Will?

If you need advice on any of the above matters, please contact us where we are happy to advise on a confidential basis.

Estate Planning

In addition to making a Will it is, in our view, essential that people should consider taking advice on Estate Planning. Estate Planning is both advisable, and good forward planning, particularly where you are involved in the running of a business or farm.  You should seek advice on how to manage the transition of that farm or business to the next generation. There may be Tax Benefits in considering a partial disposal of your assets in your lifetime, while at the same time securing your welfare into the future. This type of Estate Planning is of particular importance to Family Run Farms and Family Businesses where there are two or maybe three generations of a family involved in the running of the Farm or Business. We at Steen O Reilly are happy to advise you on a confidential basis on Estate Planning.

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