Written answers

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Department of Justice and Equality

Probate Applications

Photo of Chris AndrewsChris Andrews (Dublin Bay South, Sinn Fein)
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196. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the average timeframe it is taking to receive an appointment with the Probate Office from the time an initial application is lodged; and the length of time is it taking for each application to be processed. [54927/21]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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As the Deputy will be aware, the Probate Office is an office of the High Court and under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in its functions.

Probate functions are also carried out by County Registrars at District Probate Registries in 14 provincial court offices, who are also independent in carrying out their functions. However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has provided the following update in relation to the Dublin Probate Office.

Applications by solicitors continued to be processed throughout the pandemic. The waiting time for solicitor applications at present in the Dublin Probate Office is eight to ten weeks assuming that the papers received are correct. Applications where queries had to be raised on foot of the papers first lodged are taking eight weeks from the date they are re-submitted.

The Courts Service advises that the reintroduction of restrictions on travel earlier this year necessitated the temporary closure of the personal applications process in the Dublin Probate Office.  Interviews for personal applications resumed in May with additional resources allocated to facilitate these interviews.  I am further advised that any arrears that had been built up have now been cleared and the waiting time for personal applications at present in the Dublin Probate Office is also eight to ten weeks. 

The Courts Service has embarked on multi-year programme of modernisation to enhance the delivery of services to the people of Ireland. As part of its aims for the programme, the Courts Service is committed to simplifying services and processes. A key project in the civil law workstream for the Service is the development of an e-probate project, which will have the benefit of standardising the processing of probate applications and so enhance the delivery of the service to Courts Users.


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