New data released to Fianna Fáil Housing Spokesperson Barry Cowen has exposed the wide disparity in probate application waiting times across the country.  The information from each of the 15 district probate offices in the country shows that Dublin has the longest waiting list in the country, with applications taking 48 weeks to be processed.  Applicants in Dublin are waiting an average of 17 weeks for a solicitor application.

The research has revealed that the national average waiting time is 11 weeks.

Deputy Cowen commented, “Probate takes an inordinate amount of time to be processed in Ireland in comparison with other common law states. Research by my office has set out the waiting times in each of the 15 District Probate offices across Ireland. The average national waiting time is over ten weeks but up to 17 weeks in Dublin the busiest probate office – compare this to a a 3-4 week wait in England.

“This means families coping with funeral costs and other arrangements are left waiting for months before they can inherit the deceased estate. Meanwhile the Department has admitted that a review announced as far back as June 2016 is still on-going.

“Some 30,000 people pass away every year in Ireland with up to 86% of them owning a home.  This potentially leaves some 26,000 homes affected by these delays in probate.

“These waiting times have a big impact on the loved ones left behind. I am calling on the government to assist in streamlining the probate system so that waiting times and legal costs can be reduced.

This will involve additional staff, e-probate procedures, access for lay applicants, as well as simplified structures for low threshold inheritance claims and simplified Revenue Inheritance Tax claims forms. These small steps will help to increase the supply of homes onto the market by reducing waiting times families endure going through probate”.