Last will recently lodged of farmer – who died 51 years ago

By Liam Collins

A will that was only recently lodged in the Probate Office in Dublin pertains to Matthew Byrne, a retired farmer of Castlekelly, Tallaght, Co. Dublin who left €390,000. Byrne died on January 12, 1967 – some 51 years ago.

More recently, a Co. Clare farmer – Anthony O’Neill, of Kilmorane, Ennis – who died over 12 years ago on June 19, 2005, left €7,482,726 in his will, which was lodged in the Probate Office in Dublin last month.

Other wills of farmers and retired farmers lodged in the Probate Office in Dublin in the past month were as follows:
  • Denis Joseph (Joe) Hayes, a well-known businessman and farmer of Rathmore, Naas, Co. Kildare, who died on July 11, 2016, left €6,397,508 in his will;
  • Thomas Dowdall, of Knockumber, Navan, Co. Meath, who died on November 14, 2015, left €3,681,879;
  • Richard C. Jeffers, Branockstown, Co. Kildare who died on July 14, 2016, left €1,903,483;
  • Richard Kenneth Kingston, Redcross, Co. Wicklow, who died on August 1, 2014, left €1,363,962;
  • John Gorry, a retired farmer of Killyguire, Rathangan, Co. Kildare, who died on September 28, 2014, left €1,045,834;
  • Margaret Reilly, Boolies, Oldcastle, Co. Meath, who died on August 11, 2016, left €642,322;
  • Alice O’Connell, Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo and formerly of Killenaule, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, who died on December 5, 2016, left €601,825;
  • Patrick McMahon, Mulahussey, Maynooth, Co Kildare, who died on November 1, 2012, left €542,310.

When someone dies their property immediately passes into the hands of the executor. In order for their property to be divided according to their wishes, the executor of their estate must apply to the Probate Office to certify that the will is valid and that all legal, financial and tax matters are in order – so that the executor or administrator can be allowed to get on with the job of distributing the estate.

The estate of the deceased cannot be administered until the grant of probate is received from the Probate Office.

The main functions of the office are: to proof wills; issue grants of probate and administration; preserve probate records for inspection; provide certified copies of probate documents and to process court applications to the probate judge.

The value of estates may include property, including the family home, and should not be regarded as cash amounts.