Republic of Ireland Law
Republic of Ireland Law Questions Answered by Experts
1. If your brother can be taken to have continued his domicile of origin in Ireland, even though he may have resided in Germany, then you can administer his estate under Irish law, as an Insolvent estate, thereby lawfully bringing to an end all liabilities which attached to your brother. In this way, you can ensure that the Irish rule in relation to debts - that each person is separate and individual and not liable for the debts of others - applies in relation to the debts of your brother, now that he has died. Under Irish Conflict of laws rules, you can lawfully administer any estate in Ireland provided the deceased is domiciled there. Domicile is a malleable concept and a person is not taken to have lost his domicile of origin (here Ireland) unless he expressly evinces an intention to do so. So, my guess is that your brother is still domiciled in Ireland under Irish law, even though he may have resided in Germany. So this allows the Irish legal system to administer his estate and deal with his debts.
2. For your further information, be aware that an EU Regulation was passed in Ireland to succession which applies to all EU countries except for three, two of which are Ireland and Britain. So, be prepared for some surprise in Germany that Irish law can wind up the estate of your brother and that the German rule of debts following the next of kin doesn't apply. However, it is imperative that you act before anyone else does and admit your deceased (insolvent) brother's estate to probate in Ireland as soon as possible. Otherwise some creditor in Germany will get hold of the administration of his estate and apply the German rule of administration of estates whereby debts follow the next of kin.
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