EU Election candidate, Senator Rónán Mullen has called on Minister Shatter to deploy more Courts staff to the High Court Probate Office to alleviate the undue hardship caused to people because of delays in probate cases.
Senator Mullen said:
“Yesterday I met with people in Galway who told me that they have been informed by their family solicitors that it is currently taking an average of 14 weeks for a Grant of Representation to issue from the High Court Probate Office.”
“This delay, which is through no fault of the over-stretched staff of the Probate Offices, is creating financial hardship for people who in some instances, are having to borrow money from credit unions to pay for family funerals because they cannot access, sometimes the quite modest savings, of deceased relatives in a timely manner.”
“Given that the Bereavement Grant, which helped cover such expenses, has been abolished by the Government where death occurred after 1st January of this year, the need for Grants of Probate and Administration to issue more promptly is even more real.”
“People who have been bereaved, or who are vulnerable after the death of a close relative deserve Minister Shatter’s empathy. I am calling on the Minister to address the staff shortages and redeploy staff from other Departments if necessary. Ordinary citizens should not be suffering financial hardship because adequate resources are not available to services like the High Court Probate Office,” he concluded.