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Access to late Father's bank account

My father died in Zimbabwe in February. He has a dormant account here. How can I get access to this for my family? He made no Will.Eamonn.

Hi Eamonn. Don’t worry about the fact that the account is dormant.   When those entitled to the money come forward they are entitled to reactivate the dormant account  - it is a simple procedure and your Bank will guide you through the process.

What happens next depends on the amount of money in the account.   If it is a relatively small amount  (€5,000  to €10,000)  the Bank may release this amount on  an Indemnity to be signed by your family and without the need to take out Letters of Administration from the Probate Office.     If the amount is substantial however the Bank will not release the money and will require you to take out Letters of Administration.   When they are issued by the Probate Office in Dublin (or the County Registrar’s office in any County outside Dublin) you should produce the Letters of Administration to the Bank and they will be obliged to release the money.  

This is an intestacy (no Will made). If your mother is still alive, she will be entitled to two-thirds of the money and one-third will be distributed between you and your brothers and sisters. If your mother has pre-deceased your father, the money will be distributed equally between you and your brothers and sisters.

Finally Eamonn, as promised on the programme, here are some related questions and answers from previous editions of The Legal Column on LateNiteLive:

Probate for Mother's Estate

Succession Act Legal Right Share

Concern over future of Family Farm

Can children be left out of Parent's Will?

Inheritance rights of child of previous relationship

Can 1 or 2 family members get more from sale Family Home?

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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