Clear, concise advice From Madden Law about Intestacy

What is Intestacy?

When a person dies without a will, they are said to die intestate.

A “Grant of Administration Intestate” is the document issued by the High Court Probate office, after an intestate estate has been administered . It is the document that gives the Administrators the authority to deal with the assets of the deceased person. For example, bank accounts can be closed and property can be sold. Then the Administrator distributes the assets of the estate in accordance with the laws of intestacy. 

How are assets divided when a person dies with no Will?

This is set out in the Succession Act 1965. It depends on the status of the deceased person at their date of death. 

If a person dies with a spouse and no children then everything goes to the spouse.


If a person dies, with a spouse and children, then 2/3 goes to the spouse and 1/3 goes between all of the children equally. 

Get a clear understanding of legal costs from us at the very start of Intestacy

Fixed cost legal service
When the value of the estate is under €400,000
A transparent fee structure
What is included in our standard Intestacy fee?

What an Administrator should do, after a person dies

15191 Madden Law - Website design updates v3-03

Confirm there is no Will



If the house of deceased is vacant, make sure it is insured and secure.


Death Certificate

Order a death certificate for the deceased.



You should advise the state pension that the death has occurred, to avoid over payments being made to the account.

15191 Madden Law - Website design updates v3-09


Print off bank statements, policy documents and other assets to begin preparing a schedule of assets for the deceased.

When should an Intestacy be started?

There is no legal requirement on when to actually start the administration process.

The starting point is getting the death certificate, which usually takes 6 weeks from date of registration.

Usually people deicide to wait until after the first month anniversary to start the legal process.

It may need to be started as soon as possible if the Fair Deal loan is due to be repaid within 12 months from the date of death and the house needs to be sold in order to pay the Fair Deal loan. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Intestacy

Administrators are entitled to their expenses incurred for administering the estate. The Administrator has a fiduciary duty to the estate and its beneficiaries and should not gain from the estate.

Usually, it takes approximately 12 months for the estate to be administered and assets distributed. The processing time in the High Court Probate office varies. The duties of an Administrator last for a life time. Often assets come to light after the estate has been distributed. These assets must be distributed by the Executor also. If a subsequent Will came to light after a prior one was administrated, an Executor is obliged to revoke the prior Will and administer the later one. 

Do you have a question related to Intestacy? Send us a message

"I provide clear information and time frames at the start of the matter and regular updates throughout, so clients are always fully informed."
Shona Madden - Practicing Solicitor
Shona Madden
Madden Law

Book a Video Appointment with Shona Madden

Recent probate and intestacy Blog Updates

Follow our latest news and thoughts which focus exclusively on probate, and other legal services we can assist you with.

Outstanding service all round and a complete joy to deal with - would recommend in a heartbeat and hope to deal again soon!

Get a full breakdown of the legal costs involved in Intestacy with Madden Law.

Submit the form below