Names of the Deceased

15 February 2024


It is often the case that the name on a death certificate will differ from the name on a will. Spotting this difference is a small but important part of the overall probate process. It can be a reason for rejection of your papers. You must identify the deceased correctly in the oath. The rule is you cite the name as per the will and then cite the name on the death certificate if there is a difference. So it would appear in the oath as

“Sean Smith (otherwise known as John Smith)” or “Sean Smith (in death certificate John Smith)”.

Better to have this small point correct before issuing papers rather than being another “Open Item” on a query sheet.

On the other hand, if there is a mistake in the will, then that will also have to be dealt with. So if the deceased’s name is Padraic O’Malley, but it is spelled in the will as Padraig O’Mally, then, this would have to be dealt with in the oath as

“Padraic O’Malley erroneously described in will as Padraig O’Mally”

Hope this helps and if you have any probate, will drafting or tax queries please do not hesitate to contact me at