Ireland’s probate mess

The Law Office of Jeffrey L. Weinstein

In New York State, probate can take from 7-9 months. While that can seem like an eternity, in Ireland it can take up to 16 months. A recent report by the life insurance company, Royal London found crippling delays in the Irish probate process which have caused financial hardships on many families.

This delay can result in significant financial hardship for the family and estate of the deceased policyholder, as they wait for the proceeds of the life assurance policy,” said Joe Charles from Royal London.

“We are now calling on the Government to consider our proposals for improvements which are aimed at increasing efficiency and speeding up the probate system.”

The company found six months was the shortest time for probate in Ireland. The longest was over three years. But once probate was over, it took less than a week for claims to be processed and payments made..

By contrast, in the UK probate takes an average of three to four weeks.

Here in New York, not all estates must go through probate. If an estate falls below a certain threshold, it is considered a “small estate” and doesn’t require court supervision to be settled.

You can use the Small Estate Affidavit Program

  • If the decedent (the person who died) passed away between August 29, 1996 and December 31, 2008 AND had $20,000 or less in personal property (not land or buildings).
  • If the decedent passed away after January 1, 2009 AND had $30,000 or less in personal property.
  • If the decedent owned real property, he/she owned it jointly

For more information: Small Estate Affidavit Program

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