Changes to the Probate Office

20 October 2022


It first came to my attention that John Glennon was appointed as the Principal Probate Officer was when I was making enquiries regarding probate processes with a colleague of mine in Dublin. During that email exchange my colleague said to me “no better man than John Glennon to get it right”. The “get it right” that he was referring to was the changes to Probate Office procedures that were coming down the tracks. That was in early 2019. Since then John Glennon has presided over what can only be considered a sea change of procedures and methods in the area of Probate practice and all for the better. So it was with some disappointment that I learned that John has now been “elevated” to the position of Deputy Master of the Hight Court.

Some of the changes that John has overseen during his tenure as Probate Officer have been procedural and some seismic, but all with a view to making the probate process more frictionless (for example):-

  • Getting rid of the need to supply copy documents (the second oath, copy death certs etc)
  • Introducing the Notice of Application Procedure
  • Removing the need for fee sheets for most applications
  • Abolishing the requirement for an affidavit of market value for intestate applications (apart from exceptional cases)
  • Presiding over and launching a revamped Probate Office website with lots of handy tips and guides for practitioners and members of the public alike.
  • Dealing with and implementing the new SA.2 procedure replacing the CA24
  • Implementing the changes need for the new Charitable Bequest online system

All of this was coupled with generous participation in countless solicitor CPDs where he must have felt blue in the face reminding practitioners to avoid common mistakes and generally assisting the profession in upping their game when it comes to probate practice. Furthermore, John dealt with all the changes to personnel and working methods that arose in the Probate Office because of Covid-19. An impressive legacy.

I have always found John to be very approachable and solutions focussed, even when we have disagreed on approach to title! He was a public servant of the highest order and I wish him well in his next move as Deputy Master of the High Court. I also wish the very best to Anne Heenan, who is very much in my good books as I see that she has signed a number of probate applications that I had pending in the Principal Office. Colm Kelly

If you have any queries on probate matters, tax, or capacity law, please do not hesitate to contact me on