Grant of Probate

Discussion in 'Wills, inheritances and gifts' started by Ccull123, Oct 23, 2016.

  1. Ccull123

    Ccull123 New Member

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    Hi,

    Currently in the process of buying a house in south county Dublin. It has just come to light that probate has yet to be applied for. Solicitor for vendor seems to think that he can push it through in four weeks on signing of contracts. He said he will forward a copy of contract it to expedite the sale. Is this normal? Has anyone heard of a grant of probate being completed in that time frame?
     
  2. mathepac

    mathepac Frequent Poster

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    Grant of probate first, then offered for sale. Cart before horse here IMHO. You cannot sign contracts on a property that is not available for sale. Talk to your solicitor.
     
  3. JohnJay

    JohnJay Frequent Poster

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    There's nothing stopping the sellers solicitor from drawing up contracts and getting the buyer to sign them. The seller cant sign the contract until probate is granted.

    In my opinion as a buyer, most solicitors/executors don't apply for probate until the property is Sale Agreed. I believe there are tax advantages of doing this.
     
  4. Prosper

    Prosper Registered User

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    JohnJay, what tax advantages could there be in not applying for grant of probate until the property is sale agreed?
     
  5. john luc

    john luc Frequent Poster

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    Only thing on tax I can think of is that if the sale price is higher than the probate value then a capital gain tax will apply to the higher difference
     
  6. elcato

    elcato Moderator

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    A solicitor advised this for our family also and stated he was confident that he can push the probate through quickly as they get priority. As the process is only getting started now I can't confirm whether the probate got through in the timeframe yet. Capital gains can be applied if revenue feel the sale took too long and may have seen a gain from date of death to date of sale and probate.
     
  7. Prosper

    Prosper Registered User

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    Yes John Luc, CGT is the only tax I could be liable for. I won't be liable for any CAT as my inheritance is well within the threshold and no gifts worth talking about over the past 25 years.
    Elacto, like you I'm just starting the process. However, we're all agreed to do a personal application i.e. not using a solicitor. The information I have is that the Probate Office have taken a decision not to expedite GOP where there is a Sale Agreed for the family home. Also, if the estate is simple and straightforward (as my fathers is) then using a solicitor will not encourage the Probate Office to give the application special attention. Now it's possible that the Probate Office are simply saying this to discourage people from putting properties up for sale before Grant of Probate issues but I'm going to take them at their word as I'm not prepared to agree a sale with someone and them to have to string them along while waiting for GOP and then have them pull out of the sale and go through the hassle of putting house back for sale.
     
  8. elcato

    elcato Moderator

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    I believe solicitors are first in line for probate i.e. they're protecting the interests. If the vendor solicitor is willing to push it through to help his client then why not use it ?
     
  9. Prosper

    Prosper Registered User

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    Elacto, I was in the Probate Office to get the forms to fill and so start the process of applying for Grant of Probate without using a solicitor. I was told that the waiting time for an appointment was 6 months from when they receive the correctly completed forms (CA24) and a further 5 months after that before Grant of Probate. I asked them about putting the house up for sale before GOP and would this shorten the process. The clear answer is no. The implication was that in the past a sale agreed on the property would expedite GOP but that they have taken a decision to discourage it now. I asked if I used a solicitor to handle the GOP application would speed things up and again it appears not to be the case where the estate is simple. So as a result I'm not going to put the house on the market until GOP or until I get a clear indication that it's imminent.
     
  10. Rory_W

    Rory_W Frequent Poster

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    FWIW we went sale agreed on 30 Oct 2015 for a property with probate involved and got keys on 16 March 2016 so it took 4.5 months overall.

    Also bear in mind if getting a mortgage that your loan offer (which nowadays seem to be issued specific to the property) may expire during the wait and you may have to reapply for a new loan approval
     
  11. Prosper

    Prosper Registered User

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    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016

    Do you know when the vendor actually started the probate application process. For example they may have not put the property up for sale until they had the appointment with the probate office. It currently takes 6 months from the time you start the process to the appointment date and from then I've been told it could be about another 4 to 5 months to achieve the Grant of Probate.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
  12. Rory_W

    Rory_W Frequent Poster

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    from memory when we went sale agreed

    I had heard that a solicitor can make an application can be made to expedite the probate once contract signed (e.g. for reasons such as sale will fall through if not issued promptly etc due to loan approval expiring )
     
  13. Prosper

    Prosper Registered User

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    The Probate Office are now saying that they will not expedite the grant of probate due to a "sale agreed". Apparently a lot of people have been putting properties on the market before GOP and then they put the probate office under a lot of pressure to expedite the granting of GOP. Maybe a solicitor who they are used to dealing with will get it done a lot faster but for a simple estate such a solicitor will probably charge 8 to 10k. So the question is do you use a solicitor to handle the GOP application and incur that cost without any guarantee that he will be able to get the Probate Office to expedite for a sale agreed. I'm going to continue with the personal application and put the house on the market only when I get the feeling that GOP is imminent.
     
  14. Vanilla

    Vanilla Frequent Poster

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    8 to 10k? Nowhere near.
     
  15. Thirsty

    Thirsty Frequent Poster

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    I did DIY probate last year; they were guiding 26 weeks for appointment date at the time, in the end it took 20 weeks; meeting took around 30 mins and I had my grant on the door step with in a week.
     
  16. noproblem

    noproblem Frequent Poster

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    My sister in law's mum died 3 years ago and left everything to her. When I say "left everything", I should mention that it was a run down house, (not lived in for 5 +years), on 2 acres in rural Ireland and its value was aprox €100k. Just before her mum died she (her mum) signed everything over but only after remembering that she never took out probate when her own husband died 15 years previously so she got this done just in time to ensure she could pass it on. Just recently my SIL sold the property for €100k and of course she had to take out probate before doing so. To cut a long story short, the sister in law paid the solicitor for her mums probate bill, it came to €3,900.00. She then had to take out probate herself on the same estate and he charged her a reduced €3,500.00 after much complaining about the costs. There were no complications at all in the probate and it was done in just under 6 months in both cases. I've spoken to a few good friends and discussed the costs, etc, they agree that it was very expensive. I'm just wondering if there's people out there other than solicitors who specialise in doing probate for reasonable money? Just wondering?
     
  17. mathepac

    mathepac Frequent Poster

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    If the poor solicitor has to extend 3 or 4 year's credit for each piece of work, I'm not surprised at bills in that order.
     
  18. noproblem

    noproblem Frequent Poster

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    There was no extended credit given by the solicitor nor was it suggested in what I had written. As for the "poor" solicitor? I assure you he's not.

    An example of overcharging is when you see the following on an invoice for the work I mentioned;

    Stationary costs, €250.00.
    Telephone costs, €250.00.
    Photocopying, €250.00
    Postage, €250.00.

    Wonderful how the charges worked out like that?
     
  19. Prosper

    Prosper Registered User

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    Thirsty, a week after the appointment - well done. Was there a 'sale agreed' on a property that the Probate Office took into account and so expedited GOP ? We're resolved not to use a solicitor as the estate is simply a house and some post office state savings. I've the executor account set up, the state savings stuff sorted. The only little delay is the Verizon/Vodafone shares which my father didn't cash in before he died and which were in his and my mothers names. She predeceased him and the fact that she jointly owned the shares with him apparently is a problem. My brother was dealing with this so perhaps he misunderstood something so I'll go up to Compushare in Sandyford next week to see if I can get the information from them. Your post has cheered me up as I really believed, after collecting the forms in the Probate Office, that it would take at least 4 months after the appointment to get GOP.

    noproblem, thanks for your post. I used my fathers solicitor for my mothers very very modest estate. Just some Post Office savings - a post office book in her own name and a savings cert in both their names - (the post office book with €600 in it which I had given the solicitor was lost and this resulted in a long delay). Achieving GOP took 18 months from when I first met the solicitor and the fee was just over €3,000. This is why we are not using a solicitor for my fathers estate.

    Vanilla, do you mean 8 to 10k is too high? It's a lot less than my fathers solicitor indicated the fees would be. I think Dublin solicitors charge more than others.
     
    noproblem likes this.
  20. JohnJay

    JohnJay Frequent Poster

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    out of curiosity, does a solicitor have to attend a meeting/interview with the probate office when they handle probate, or do they just send in the required paperwork.
    Prosper - I've never been through the process and probably/hopefully never will, but I think I would also go down the DIY route if I was in your position. Maybe some people have more complicated cases or maybe they are in a hurry to pay bills/fair deal/etc where it would be best to have the services of a solicitor, but for a straightforward case then its worth going DIY. I do think the time frame you are quoting is a bit long though as most people I talk to are saying 4/6 months in total.