Establishment of assets on death

imalwayshappy

Registered User
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105
Hi,

When a person dies, assuming with no will in place, how would an executor establish the persons assets? Would he write to all banks in the country and ask for full disclosure?Also, do the revenue have any input when someone dies? i.e. does it trigger an audit of the deceased estate or anything?

Thanks
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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A starting point would be to go the dead person's papers and correspondence which will usually have evidence of assets.

It's unlikely (but not impossible) that there are assets which leave no written trace.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
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42,589
There are a few places where you might find accounts which have been forgotten about.

Write to the main banks as you suggest. They have a department which would check this. Give them previous addresses and maiden names.

Also, make sure to check with the Prize Bonds.

Check with the local credit union - and maybe also with any credit union associated with their workplace.

If the person had a current account go back over the very old statements to see if they transferred any large sums which might suggest moving money to a bank account. Likewise any large round sum lodgements might suggest a movement from a savings account.

Check for any payments to the Life insurance companies where a lot of people had savings products. Maybe write to
Irish Life
New Ireland
Standard Life
Eagle Star /Zurich Life
Aviva
 
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john luc

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As a follow, if an asset is discovered after probate and final distribution as assets. What happens then.
 

Thirsty

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Depends on the nature / size of the asset.

A small sum of money was paid to an estate, of which I was joint executor, after all distribution was completed. Distribution to the several beneficiaries was not practical. We gave the money to a charity which the deceased supported.

If its a major asset / property, I believe you will be looking at filing a corrective affadavit.
 

Feemar5

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Regarding Revenue's involvement you have to complete a Revenue form to get a Grant of Probate. If there is tax outstanding including Property Tax it has to be paid.
 

imalwayshappy

Registered User
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105
Regarding Revenue's involvement you have to complete a Revenue form to get a Grant of Probate. If there is tax outstanding including Property Tax it has to be paid.
Perfect thanks, does a revenue audit get triggered also? Do they go back over the last 4 years of the deceased affairs also does anyone know?
 

Protocol

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I'm just thinking out loud here..........should all financial assets be linked to a PPS number?

Should there be some sort of register of financial assets?

I don't mean whereby anybody can look up anybody else's financial assets.

I mean to make it easier at probate.
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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What we definitely need is a regulation for all wills to be registered with a national authority in order to be valid.
100%. The will wouldn't even have to be stored in a central register if people are concerned about confidentiality. Just a register of what solicitor holds what will would be a huge step forward.

This is pure vested interest stuff. Solicitors are the only ones who benefit from the current system. Much more potential to bill for search and eventual dispute.
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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What if I want to keep my assets a secret?
Your bank or pension provider knows your assets. So do your neighbours who walk past the house you own every day.

My will is completely uncontroversial: all assets to Mrs NRC or, if she pre-deceases me, split equally between our children. I wouldn't care if it was public on the internet.
 

Thirsty

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Your bank or pension provider knows your assets. So do your neighbours who walk past the house you own every day.

My will is completely uncontroversial: all assets to Mrs NRC or, if she pre-deceases me, split equally between our children. I wouldn't care if it was public on the internet.
Once you're dead it's public anyway.

The Register of Wills (see I've even given it a name :) ) doesn't have to include a list of assets: name & address, executor, witnesses and solicitor if relevant. That's all you need prior to death; and that can be held confidentially. When the testator dies, then the executor (or nominated solicitor) can produce their credentials and have full access to the registered will.
 

Feemar5

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Perfect thanks, does a revenue audit get triggered also? Do they go back over the last 4 years of the deceased affairs also does anyone know?
As far as I know it is not common practice to do an audit. I have been Executor for three small estates and there was no audit. Perhaps if there was no tax returns done for a period Revenue may have questions.
 

Thirsty

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I've not had an audit - but as executor you should have a letter from Revenue confirming the deceased's record is in order before any distribution.
 

Vanessa

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100%. The will wouldn't even have to be stored in a central register if people are concerned about confidentiality. Just a register of what solicitor holds what will would be a huge step forward.

This is pure vested interest stuff. Solicitors are the only ones who benefit from the current system. Much more potential to bill for search and eventual dispute.
A national Register of Wills is often suggested and would be welcomed.
As one poster posted it doesnt need to break any confidences. All it needs to state is Name, PPS No. Date of Will and where stored.
It should be compulsory for a solicitor to register these details.
Of course people can make their own will without a solicitor but there is nothing stopping them from registering it.
I am convinced that estates are wound up every year on the basis that there was no will made or an earlier will was used.
I am aware of a case involving an Irish emigrant, a long time in England, who's first will was used despite the fact that he had updated one made when a brother died before him.
 

MOB

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This is pure vested interest stuff. Solicitors are the only ones who benefit from the current system. Much more potential to bill for search and eventual dispute.
1. The Perception: solicitors do wills at little or no cost because they expect to make money when you die. The Reality: This may have been true in the past - particularly when law firms tended to pass as multi-generational family businesses. I have been making wills for 25+ years and hardly anybody has died on me. My probate practice is almost entirely from wills made by solicitors long gone, and there was no 'crock of gold' for them in their will safe -because solicitors practices do not command a big price (unlike, say ,accountancy practices which have steady recurring revenue).
I and most solicitors continue to prepare wills at a financial loss, because there is a public perception that a will should cost very little and it is very hard to either refuse the work or to charge properly for it without giving offence. I have friends in the UK, married with no children, who have paid £900 for a pair of wills. My normal charge varies from zero to €200 including VAT.

2. The Perception: solicitors like making money on search fees. The Reality: When a solicitor is trying to locate a missing will, he\she will write to maybe 20 firms. 19 out of 20 will conduct a search and then reply "no will here". 1 out of 20 will reply "yes we have a will; Here is our invoice for €100+VAT search and retrieval". If anybody thinks that getting a search fee for one in every twenty searches is a profitable business model, I have a bridge I can sell you.

3. The Perception ; Solicitors love disputes about wills. The Reality: We like some disputes - but they are rare. Mostly, they are more trouble than they are worth. We hate it when the drafting of the will is questioned. We hate it when it is suggested that we didn't take proper instruction from the deceased. All in all, estate disputes are fraught with professional risk. What we really actually like: nice straightforward probate files, where the deceased's affairs are in order, where there is plenty of cash and ideally just one or two beneficiaries (if there are ten beneficiaries of the residue, you can be nearly guaranteed that one of them will complain about your fees or your service; with just one or two, you can make sure everyone is happy and shake hands on your fee)

4. The Perception An obligatory register of wills would solve a lot of problems in a cost effective manner. The Reality: Most wills are safely stored and in due course safely processed. For the one in 100 wills (at a guess) that would benefit from a compulsory register, there are 99 wills that have just had a needless registration cost imposed. Even at €60 per registration, most people will change wills three, four, five times in their life -so call it €250 per estate. That's maybe €250 x 99 = €25,000 in admin cost added to the system to safeguard the 1 will in 100 that goes astray. Unless of course you think that a solicitor should do this for free (but even then there will be some sort of registration fees payable). The second issue is that some people, often for good reason, do not want it to be known that they have made a will. Compulsory registration will create an obstacle for such clients.

The legal profession has debated this issue a number of times. There is no consensus and no clearly right answer. The availability of a public wills register is probably a good idea. The notion that it should be compulsory is probably not. The idea that the legal profession have created the current system out of cynical self interest is, however, nonsense.
 
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