Probate is the term given to the process of distributing a person’s estate after their death to their beneficiaries. It is the executors (where there is a will) or administrators (where there is no will) who are responsible for protecting the assets, obtaining the Grant of Probate or Grant of Administration, clearance letters from the Revenue Commissioners and Social Welfare, and ultimately distributing the assets to the persons entitled. The beneficiaries will be named in the Will. If there is no will, read 'What Happens if there is No Will in Place'.
Wills should be reviewed in light of amendments in Taxation and Succession Legislation to ensure the most effective devolution of assets whilst minimising tax exposure.
Tax Thresholds (what can be inherited tax-free)
For Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT), beneficiaries are categorized into groups depending on their relationship to the testator.
Historically, group thresholds were linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) so they rise or fall annually with inflation. The indexation of the tax-free group thresholds is abolished for gifts and inheritances taken on or after 7th December 2011.
The following are the Group Tax-Free Thresholds that apply to gifts and inheritances taken on or after 12th October 2016:
Group A (child of deceased)
CAT threshold is €310,000 (increased from €280,000 in Budget 2016)
Group B (brother, sister, niece, nephew, grandchild of deceased)
CAT threshold is €32,500 (increased from €30,150 in Budget 2016)
Group C (all other relationships to deceased)
CAT threshold €16,250 (increased from €15,075 in Budget 2016)