Wills, Probate & Estate Planning

Because of the international nature of our practice, Duncan Grehan & Partners has wide experience of issues arising for executors or administrators of the estates of deceased persons who were nationals of Ireland and also who were nationals of countries other than Ireland with assets such as property or shares in Ireland and who were not resident or domiciled here. We can efficiently process applications for probate with the minimum of difficulty for the client. We are experienced in acting in and resolving probate disputes which may arise between family members or beneficiaries of an estate.

We have particular experience of dealing with the estates of German nationals and we have forged good working relationships with German law firms and groupings specialising in probate and inheritance law. We have vast experience in dealing with foreign estates and are familiar with the procedures to efficiently secure a Grant which has a foreign element, whether it be a foreign Will, or the deceased was domiciled abroad or the beneficiaries reside outside of Ireland, we can assist in an effective and efficient manner. We have been able to work on behalf of Irishmen and women who have immigrated and established themselves in countries across the world in the administration of the estates of their deceased family members at home.

EU Inheritance Regulations

Since August 2015, EU Regulation 650/2012 (Brussels IV) has been enforced with the purpose of clarifying various principles of private international law across the Member States of the European Union applicable to the survivors of deceased persons who have left assets in a number of different countries within the EU. Its objective is to provide a single uniform system for the recognition of inheritance, planning and administration law and the introduction of the European Certificate of Succession (Europäisches Nachlasszeugnis).

The Regulation does not apply in Ireland, the United Kingdom or Denmark. So, whether at the stage where the Will is being drafted when it is the time to decide on what law and what courts will have jurisdiction in respect of the proposed Will or whether it is the time after the death of the testator, if there is any connection to Ireland, it will be important that you contact us for assistance, in particular on questions such as:

  • An examination of the “domicile” of the deceased.
  • Validity of the testament.
  • An examination of the entitlement to inherit under the testament.
  • The obtaining of directions from the Irish Probate Office.
  • The proof of the validity of the last testament.
  • The administration of the deceased’s estate in Ireland prior to its distribution.

Duncan Grehan & Partners has hosted numerous conferences on this topic such as the DACH Vereinigung in Dublin when papers were presented by speakers from France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Duncan Grehan presented a paper explaining the Irish law position.

The People of Ireland by Referendum voted for the 34th Amendment of the Constitution (Marriage Equality) Act, 2015 when it became part of the Irish constitutional law that “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex”. This provision will have far-reaching consequences for the Irish law of inheritance and follows on from the earlier statutory law by which same sex civil partnerships were recognised by the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act, 2010.


Issues of taxation are frequently the most important matters upon which the Executor or Administrator of the estate will require legal advice. The testator will hopefully have taken legal advice in planning for his/her death and in drafting his/her will. Types of taxes that will usually arise:

Inheritance Tax / Capital Acquisition Tax (CAT) - this tax will concern the Executor of the estate in relation to distributions to beneficiaries of the will and it applies to all property which is acquired after June 1982 whether by inheritance by gift or by purchase. There is no such tax applicable in respect of gifts or inheritance between husband and wife. Other gifts of inheritance between family members and relatives have tax free thresholds. Anything in excess of the tax free threshold in the appropriate group will give rise to a tax liability payable at a rate of 33%.

CAT Thresholds for inheritances or gifts on or after 9 October 2019:

Group A - €335,000.00

Group B - €32,500.00

Group C - €16,250.00


Capital Gains Tax (CGT) - the gain in value of any property, moveable or immovable, between the date of its acquisition (whether inherited, gifted or purchased) and the date of its disposal is taxed on a sliding scale rate. Important allowances in respect of such taxation are available.

Wills and Enduring Power of Attorney


Making a will reduces costs and responsibilities for those surviving you. Many are reluctant to make a will. They put off dealing with this simple task. We can ensure that your wishes are included in your will which to be valid must be carefully drafted and executed in accordance with Irish law. The assets of a person who dies without a will (intestate) will not be distributed according to the deceased’s wishes but to those persons who are entitled according to law.

If you wish to make sure that on your death your property goes to the person of your choice and that your family members are properly provided for, we strongly advise you to make your will with us.

Enduring Power of Attorney

It is advisable that everyone, especially those who have retired, validly appoint persons to take care of their affairs. Such an appointment can be for an indefinite period so that should you no longer be able or fit to manage your affairs or no longer have capacity, the persons that you have appointed can do these things for you.

Creating an Enduring Power of Attorney is a complex procedure and requires the advice of a solicitor. We are experienced in the procedures and are happy to bring you through the process and to advise you regarding both making a will and creating Enduring Power of Attorney.

If you need to arrange a telephone or face-to-face with an expert in Wills, Probate & Estate Planning, then email mail@duncangrehan.com or click the button below and fill out our contact form.


Duncan Grehan & Partners LLP

26 Fitzwilliam Street Upper,
Dublin 2.

Eircode: D02 CT89
DX address: DX 109030 Fitzwilliam

Telephone: 01 6779078
E-mail: mail@duncangrehan.com