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Application forms and user guides

Relevant forms for the applications that can be submitted to the Charity Services Unit with guides on completing them.

  • Appointment of new trustees

    The Charities Regulator may appoint trustees of a charitable trust (or to a particular property held on charitable trusts) either to fill a vacancy or as additional trustees under section 43 of the Charities Act 1961 (as amended by section 14 of the Charities Act 1973 and section 82 of the Charities Act 2009).  This usually occurs where a charity no longer has any living trustees appointed.

    Before seeking to make an application to the Charities Regulator, charities should consider with their legal advisors if the property title deed, the governing document of the charity or the default statutory provisions of the Trustee Act 1893 permit someone within the charity, the last surviving trustee or their legal personal representative to make the appointment of trustees.

    The Charities Regulator’s jurisdiction will generally not be invoked if there is someone else with authority to make the appointment.  Given that the statutory process for the appointment of new trustees involves several stages and the current timeframe for processing these applications is in excess of six months, it is more expedient if someone with authority can be identified to make the appointment.

    When will the Charities Regulator make an appointment of new trustees?

    Appointments may be made:

    • in substitution for or in addition to any existing trustee or trustees; 
    • where no power of appointment is contained in the charity’s governing document or the deed relating to the property;
    • where there is no surviving trustee; and the last surviving trustee’s legal personal representatives are deceased or not willing to make the appointment;
    • where the appointment appears necessary to the the Board of the Charities Regulator.

    The application may be made by the trustee or trustees of the charity or, if they cannot be found, by any person having an interest in the charity property.

    An application to appoint new trustees is made by way of a Statutory Declaration. You will find an online form by logging on to MyAccount and selecting the Charity Services section. The form has text boxes to be populated by applicants.  This generates the standard form statutory declaration.

    A section 55 declaration / statement of willingness to act must be signed by all persons who are proposed to act as trustees of charity property.  If a bare trust property holding company or other body corporate is proposed to be appointed as trustee, the section 55 declaration should be amended accordingly and must be signed on behalf of the company, in accordance with the relevant provisions of its governing document.

    What documents do I need to include with my application?

    • the completed form on MyAccount including:
      • description of the area and geographical situation of the property in the Schedule to the declaration. The description should be in accordance with the parcels clause/schedule of the relevant deed if unregistered; and include reference to the folio if registered. Where no deed exists such description and address should be as full as possible;
      • description of the charitable trusts on which the property is held;
      • history of the property and a statement of its title;
      • Note: unregistered land - in the case of an application for the appointment of new trustees the land will be vested for such estate and interest as the previous trustees held without identifying the nature of the estate or interest. Particulars of draft approved wording are enclosed below. Please note that all vesting orders in relation to unregistered land are treated on this basis;
      • statement confirming the death of the former trustees referencing death certificates uploaded or such other evidence of death as is available;
      • the names, addresses and descriptions of the proposed new trustees (bringing the number up to at least two trustees, unless a trust company; or the name and address of the Registered Office of that Company;
      • statement confirming that there is no restriction on alienation which would prevent the appointment of new trustees;
      • the trusts upon which it is desired that the property be vested by the Authority in the said trustees;
    • death certificates for all deceased trustees on title;
    • property title documentation (for example, up to date copy folio and file plan or copy title deeds under which the property is held);
    • copy of the deed vesting the property in the charity;
    • map of the property clearly identifying it;
    • confirmation of where the statutory public notices will be displayed;
    • the addresses at which the proposed trustees ordinarily reside / its registered office if a body corporate;
    • A copy of the latest governing document for all entities the subject of your application; 
    • If your application involves a property holding company, its governing document in addition to the governing document of the registered charity.

    Please note:  Original wet-ink signed documents are required in respect of application forms and statutory declarations.  Please do not send original title documents to the Charities Regulator – in general, copies are sufficient. 

    Appointment of New Trustees - User Guide (PDF document)
    Submit an Application

  • Application for the disposition of charity property

    In general, applications for authorisation of charity property dispositions are required where the trustees do not otherwise have the power to make the disposition according to the trusts of the registered charity on which the property is held; or there is a restriction on title which means authorisation is required. In all cases where the Charities Regulator or CCDB has made an appointment of trustees, a restriction/inhibition is entered on the property deed or folio which requires the authorisation of the Charities Regulator to any future disposition of the property.

    It is advisable to engage with legal advisors and auctioneers at an early stage in the process before selling charity property. In general, charity trustees have a responsibility to act in the best interests of the charity and agree terms of sale which are advantageous to the charity. This means that the trustees obtain full open market value and are in a position to document how this has been ascertained.

    Is the Regulator’s consent required?

    Charities should consider with their legal advisors before making an application if consent of the Charities Regulator is actually required, or if the charity already has the power to make the disposition. For example, if the registered charity’s governing document (that was in force when the property was acquired) states that the charity has the power to make the disposition, it would not generally be required to seek the consent of the Charities Regulator to the proposed disposition provided the disposition is considered by the trustees to be of benefit and advantageous to the charity. However, every property title and situation is unique and should be considered in all the circumstances and in conjunction with the relevant legislation in advance of making an application.

    Who must make the application?

    Section 34 of the Charities Act 1961 (as amended) (where applicable) requires applications for dispositions to be made by the charity trustees of a registered charity.  Where a bare trust property holding company holds legal title to a charity’s property, the application for consent to a disposition (if required) must be made by both the trustees of the registered charity (as beneficial owner) and the officers of the property holding company (as legal owner).

    In practice, at least two thirds of the registered charity trustees must sign the application form on behalf of the registered charity (see further section 55 of the Charities Act 1961). If an individual is both a charity trustee of the registered charity and an officer of a property holding company, they may need to sign the form twice (and make clear in what capacity they are signing). It is not sufficient for only the property holding company to make the application. Application forms which are not correctly signed on behalf of the registered charity will be returned and this will increase processing times.

    Applications may take a number of months to process and should be submitted well in advance of the proposed completion date specified in the Special Conditions to the Contract for Sale, which in practice is often tied to the issuing of a determination from the Charities Regulator.

    Documents required

    All sale authorisation applications must include the following:

    • fully signed and dated contract;
    • detailed valuation report from an auctioneer instructed by the charity dated within the last 6 months, confirming the date of inspection of the property, certifying the full Open Market Value (OMV) of the property. The OMV should be certified having regard to the property’s size, location and condition, comparable properties for sale and previously sold in the area or of a similar nature; and the equivalent price per acre/hectare of any land in sale;
    • confirmation of the recommended asking price and a copy of the brochure for sale;
    • marketing history, for example details of what ads were placed and where, the number of hits, property viewings and bidding history – evidence that the property was put on the open market and the process undertaken to realise the most advantageous terms of sale;
    • auctioneer’s opinion on how the sale agreed price represents the full OMV;
    • copy of the Deed vesting the property in the registered charity;
    • map of the property in sale together with details of the land area in question (number of acres / hectares and size in square ft/m of all buildings on the property);
    • details of connections, if any, between the parties (that is personal or business connections between the proposed purchaser and the charity trustees / employees or former trustees / employees);
    • copy of any occupational lease or licence in place in respect of the property;
    • governing document for the registered charity setting out the charitable trusts affecting the property;
    • governing document of the property holding company (if any). 

    Please note:  Original wet-ink signed documents are required in respect of application forms and statutory declarations.  Please do not send original title documents to the Charities Regulator – in general, copies are sufficient.Further information is available in our ezine article Is your charity planning to sell its charity property?

  • Cy-Près

    The Charities Regulator has the power to settle schemes applying charity property cy-près (as near as possible to the intentions of the original donor) under section 29 of the Charities Act 1961 (as amended by section 8 of the Charities Act 1973, Part 2 of the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2002 and section 82 of the Charities Act 2009). 

    The basis for a cy-près application is set out in the circumstances specified in section 47(1) of the Charities Act 1961 and the statutory declaration should refer to these circumstances as they apply to the charity/charitable gift in question.  You must outline why it is necessary or desirable for the scheme to be made.  Please provide as much detail as possible, including the relevant history, up to date valuations (where appropriate) and full details of the proposed use of the funds/property.  The usage must be similar to the original intention and the rationale should be explained. Where documents are referred to in the statutory declaration, please append clearly labelled exhibits.

    Please note there are several stages in a cy-près application. In general, they are

    1. initial application and review – approval in principle; 
    2. consideration of draft cy-près scheme prepared by the applicant; 
    3. publication of the public notice for a period of one month;
    4. consideration of objections / suggestions (if any);
    5. sealing of the cy-près scheme. 

    Please note it is the applicant’s responsibility to draft the cy-près scheme and the Charities Regulator may make changes to it as part of the application review process.  As an application commences a legal process, applicants are advised to take independent specialist legal advice before making a submission.

    Cy-Près Application - User Guide (PDF document)Submit an Application

  • Opinion or advice

    Under section 21 of the Charities Act 1961 (as amended by section 82 of the Charities Act 2009), an application may be made to the Charities Regulator for a formal statement of its opinion or advice to trustees who have a difficulty in relation to the administration of a charitable trust, or executors experiencing difficulty in administrating a charitable devise or bequest under their control.  Applicants should note that provision of a statement of opinion or advice involves the exercise of a discretionary statutory function and that the Charities Regulator cannot provide applicants with legal advice in respect of charitable trusts, bequests or devises.  Applicants are encouraged to seek their own specialist legal advice before making an application.

    In general, all applications must include a signed and attested Statutory Declaration which includes the following:

    • Full particulars of the relevant provisions of the trust deed or will: Relevant sections of trust documents should be identified by section number or otherwise identified in an exhibit to the declaration;
    • Details of the difficulty which arises and reasons for the request to provide a statement of opinion or advice – please include as much relevant background information as possible and include supporting documentation as exhibits;
    • Particulars of the steps taken to ascertain the disponer / testator’s intentions, for example, any relationship which the disponer / testator may have had with the charity in question, or other extrinsic evidence if there is an ambiguity on the face of the trust / will;
    • A proposal from the trustee/executor as to how the matter may be resolved, including confirmation as to whether the charity trustees of the charity in question have approved the proposal in principle, if appropriate in the circumstances; and/or details of their observations and the observations of any relevant third parties in respect of the proposal;
    • The name of each charity and Registered Charity Number (RCN) (where applicable) referenced in the application;
    • Name and address of the deponent;
    • Details of any alternative courses of action which have been considered;
    • Details of any third party claims or potential claims in respect of the charitable trust, bequest or devise of which the applicant is on notice.

    Opinion or Advice - User Guide (PDF document)Submit an Application

  • Approval of compromise

    The Charities Regulator may sanction or make an order in relation to the proposed compromise of a claim against a charity or against a person in relation to a charity under section 22 of the Charities Act 1961 (as amended by section 82 of the Charities Act 2009).  It must be demonstrated to the Charities Regulator that the proposed compromise is fit and proper and for the benefit of the charity for it to be sanctioned. 

    In order to invoke the Charities Regulator’s jurisdiction in relation to compromises of claims, the charity trustees, or another person with their consent, must submit an application to the Charities Regulator in which they state that the proposal is advantageous to the charity, or that the claim should, in the special circumstances of the case, be compromised.

    There may be a number of steps involved in an application for the compromise of a claim and while it may be of assistance to have taken initial steps in relation to the proposal, charity trustees should not bind themselves to any agreement without the consent of the Charities Regulator.

    Charity trustees and other persons dealing with claims against or in relation to charities should be aware that the Charities Regulator’s jurisdiction is discretionary and that it may make any order in relation to the proposal, with or without modification of the proposal.

    Charity trustees must have regard to their legal duties when considering compromising a claim.  In particular, charity trustees should ask:

    • Do I have the power to enter this agreement and is the proposal in compliance with the provisions of the charity’s governing document?
    • Is the proposal a responsible use of the charity’s resources?
    • What are the alternatives? Would defence of the claim represent a responsible use of the charity’s resources? What potential issues arise?
    • How would a donor to the charity/the public in general view the proposal in terms of the proposed use of charity resources?
    • Am I acting with the reasonable skill and care that is expected of a trustee dealing with charitable property in the circumstances of the matter?
    • What steps, if any, could the charity take to prevent the situation arising in the future?
    • Are the costs of the proposal proportionate and reasonable in all the circumstances?

    Where an application is made by the legal personal representative of an estate in which a claim arises in relation to a charity, the legal personal representative should ensure that they can demonstrate they have authority to deal with the estate assets.  Usually this means extracting a grant of representation (grant of probate or other appropriate grant of administration), to prove title to the assets in the estate.

    Details of all claim documentation and correspondence should be exhibited to a statutory declaration of the legal personal representative / trustee.

    It may be of assistance to the Charities Regulator’s consideration of an application for an applicant to demonstrate any engagement that has taken place in respect of the claim and proposal.  The output from this engagement may assist in determining if the proposed compromise is fit and proper and for the benefit of the charity.  Charity trustees are advised to take independent legal advice before responding to any claim, or any proposal put to them in the case where they are due to benefit from an estate.  The applicant must demonstrate that each charity involved in an application has been afforded the opportunity to obtain independent legal advice.

    Usually, these applications are submitted after a grant of representation has issued in the estate.  They must be submitted before any binding agreement is entered in respect of a claim.

    Approval of Compromise - User Guide (PDF document)Submit an Application

  • Charitable bequest forms

    The Charities Regulator examines information relating to charitable bequests received from the Probate Office, which has a statutory mandate to supply the Charities Regulator with a report of all charitable bequests to charities in Ireland. Bequests to overseas charities with no activities in Ireland are not within the remit of the legislation and executors/legal personal representatives (“LPRs”) are not required to include these on the charitable bequest form.

    One will, one form

    LPRs or solicitors acting on their behalf are required to complete a single online form entitled the ‘Charitable Bequest Form’ noting all charitable bequests in a will when lodging applications for grants where the will contains a charitable bequest.  The form should include details of all charitable bequests including a bequest of the residue if a charity is a residuary beneficiary.  Submitting several forms in respect of one estate will result in the forms / application being returned to you and this will delay the processing of your application.

    The Charitable Bequest Form must be:

    1. generated and submitted online via the Charities Regulator’s MyAccount portal;
    2. downloaded and printed for signing by the LPR / solicitor acting on their behalf;
    3. scanned and uploaded to the submission on MyAccount; and
    4. the hard copy lodged with the application for a grant to the Probate Office/District Probate Registry. 

    LPRs / solicitors acting on their behalf will need a user account to log into MyAccount. Information about MyAccount can be found on our website including how to create a new user account or log in to an existing account.

    The Probate Office is required to forward the following details to the Charities Regulator in accordance with its statutory obligations under the Charities Acts:

    • particulars of every charitable devise or bequest contained in any will entered in the Probate Office or a District Probate Registry;
    • the name of the testator (the deceased);
    • the name of the person to whom probate was granted;
    • the date of the will and the date of the grant of probate or letters of administration with will annexed.  

     Charitable Bequest Form - User Guide (PDF Document)Submit an Application

  • Alteration of schemes

    The Charities Regulator may alter any scheme framed and approved under:

    • the Educational Endowments (Ireland) Act 1885, pursuant to section 30 of the Charities Act 1961; or
    • section 2 or section 4 of the Charities Act 1973 (incorporation schemes);
    • a court order (other than a Court ordered cy-près scheme), where the Charities Regulator is given this power in the scheme.

    Applicants should review the legislation and the scheme with their legal advisors, taking note of the statutory notice periods and conditions in relation to these schemes.  Applicants must describe in detail the rationale for the proposed amendments, having regard to the limitations of the statutory provisions.  Applicants should include all relevant background details and upload a clean copy and redline version of the scheme highlighting the proposed amendments.  Applicants should upload supporting documentation including legal advice where appropriate.

    Where an applicant charity wishes to amend or revoke a cy-près scheme (whether framed by the Charities Regulator or its predecessor the CCDB or by Court order), it should submit an application for a new cy-près scheme through MyAccount, as set out above at section 3.

    Alteration of Schemes - User Guide (PDF document)Submit an Application

  • Vesting and amending charitable leasehold property

    The Charities Regulator may make Vesting Orders freeing charity property from the operation of onerous covenants in leases made pursuant to the Leases for Schools (Ireland) Act 1881 and other leases for charitable purposes, where the person entitled to the lessor’s interest is unknown or cannot be found, pursuant to section 6 of the Charities Act 1973 (as amended by section 82 of the Charities Act 2009).

  • Residential redress

  • FAQs

       Below are questions that we often receive. We recommend that the information here is read in conjunction with the
       main sections on the relevant topics.