Removing executors – what you need to know…

If you feel that the Executors appointed by Will are failing to administer the estate properly then you may want to take action sooner rather than later. We’ve put together some basic facts to consider. If you are facing this situation, however, we would always advise that you start by calling us, so we can discuss the matter and make sure you’re properly prepared and represented.

The facts:
The Executors’ duties are contained in Section 25 of The Administration of Estates Act 1925. The Act stipulates that their duties are:

To collect and get in the real and personal estate of the deceased and administer it according to law.

  1. When required to do so by the Court, exhibit on Oath in the Court a full Inventory of the estate and when so required render an account of the administration of the estate to the Courts and
  2. When required to do so by the High Court, deliver up the Grant of Probate or Administration to that Court.

Once the Executor has proved the Will of the Testator they are entitled to administer the estate.

What about when they aren’t fulfilling their duties?

What can you do if an Executor does not want to apply for a Grant of Probate?
If a named Executor refuses to apply for a Grant of Probate then the first step would be to write to the named Executor and put him on notice that an application will be made at Court to appoint somebody else to administer the estate in his place.

If still no Grant is taken then proceedings are necessary to issue and serve a Citation at Court requiring the named Executor to either apply for a Grant or otherwise renounce his entitlement to do so.

If the named Executor fails to take either of these steps then the Court can direct that a Grant of Probate be issued to another person.

A Citation cannot be issued against an Executor who has already intermeddled in the estate and different proceedings are needed to deal with an intermeddling Executor if he refuses to take a Grant.

Substituting an Executor
An application to substitute an Executor is not easy and it is necessary to prove serious misbehaviour before the Court will consider forcing an Executor to step down.

Generally the Courts will only remove the Executor if:

Any misconduct must be very serious in nature, leading to the estate suffering as a result of the misconduct. The Court is likely to consider the following examples of misconduct :

The High Court has a discretionary power under Section 50 of The Administration of Justice Act 1985 to appoint a substitute personal representative or to terminate the appointment of a personal representative.

Such an application must be made pursuant to the Civil Procedure Rules 57.13, which sets out details of the documents that must be provided to support the application. These include:

Further information that might be of interest…

What to do when a relative dies and being an executor

Disputing a Will

Dependents claims against an estate

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or be constituted to be legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of any acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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