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Buachaill, Lawyer
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
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Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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1. As regards XXXXX XXXXX requiring the executrix of a will

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1. As regards XXXXX XXXXX requiring the executrix of a will to accept or refuse probate and to introduce and deposit the will into the Probate Office, can this be issued before the executor's year is up? It has been eight months since my late ex-husband died and the executrix of his will has done nothing.

2. Is there anything in law that would preclude my son or I from making direct contact with the executrix and asking her what progress has been made in administering the estate and whether she would be willing to furnish us with a copy of the will?
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

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1. Hello again! Firstly, there is no requirement that a year have elapsed before the executor can be cited as to whether she will take out probate to a will. So you should do this step as a matter of urgency.
2. There is nothing untoward legally with approaching the executor and asking whether there has been any progress in relation to a will. I would suggest that your son do it as he is someone who has a direct interest in the will as he is either a beneficiary or potential beneficiary of the estate. However, I would advise him to formally write to the executrix asking what is the position and asking for a reading of the will or a copy of the will. Be aware that in law, only the residuary legatee has an absolute right in law to a copy of the will. So the executrix can deny your son a copy of the will if he is not residuary legatee. That is why he should ask for a reading of the will at which all interested persons can attend.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

1. Hi again. Thanks for that. That's what I thought.


2. I should tell you that my son did telephone the executrix on two occasions seeking information about the will. She is elderly and has little formal education and is not in good health. She gave conflicting answers as to the will and said that she hasn't had sight of it (a full eight months after the death of the testator) and didn't seem to understand fully the role of executrix and it was not clear to what extent she is actively engaged in it. My son's solicitor put these points directly in a letter to her solicitor. His response to my son was a warning to him not to contact the executrix again, that such contact was "intrusive". Needless to say, the letter did not deal in any way with the points raised in my son's letter to him. Indeed his track record up to now has been to dodge questions put to him and only selectively answer others.


The solicitor for the estate and the executrix has written and said that my son is not a beneficiary of the will. Can my son still then go ahead and ask the executrix for a reading of the will as you suggest? What is a residuary legatee? Is there specific reference to asking the executrix to do so in the legislation or the Rules of the Superior Courts? Many thanks for your help.

3. As your son is not a beneficiary under the will, he has to consider whether he wants to make a claim under section 117 of the Succession Act that he deserves some share of the estate on the basis that his father has "failed in his moral duty to make proper provision" for him. Such a claim must be taken within six months of the taking out of probate or administration to the will.
4. If your son is not a beneficiary under the will and has been told so, he cannot ask for a reading of the will, as he is not a beneficiary under it and has been told so by the executrix. A residuary legatee is the person entitled to the residue left over after all the gifts under the will have been distributed. As this is neither you nor your son, you have no right to ask for a copy of the will.
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Buachaill, Lawyer
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Experience: Barrister 17 years experience
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

3. Yes, thanks, XXXXX XXXXX of s117 and intends pursuing. The solicitor for the estate knows this.

4. We wrote to her solicitor asking him whether the executrix would be prepared to furnish a copy of the will as well as provide details of assets. We received no reply. Could we write directly to the executrix and put the same question to her directly?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry. I see you've already answered my question. Many thanks.