We get the latest specialist advice from JCP Solicitors, which has an office in Caerphilly. In our Ask The Legal Expert column Mike Downey, Director and Head of Lifetime Planning for South East Wales at JCP Solicitors, shares advice on being an Executor.
My sister appointed me as an Executor to her Will, but I’m finding the Probate process overwhelming while I am grieving. Do I have any options?
Grief can make it very hard for people to focus on the practical matters at hand, but you have options:
• To renounce (resign) the role
• To reserve your right to apply for Probate
• To appoint someone else to take on the role (this might be a Solicitor, family member or another beneficiary)
To completely opt out of the role of Executor you must complete a Deed of Renunciation, and submit it to The Court (Probate Registry) as early as possible in the Probate process – and before you have started organising the Estate.
Once you have renounced, The Non Contentious Probate Rules deal with appointing someone else to carry out Probate and they must apply for Letters of Administration with Will Annexed so they can deal with the Estate instead. If there are other Executors who can take on the responsibilities, you could have Power Reserved to you so you step back from applying for Grant of Probate but retain some control over the administration of the Estate as the process unfolds.
Or you can appoint someone – perhaps a Solicitor – to carry out the role of Executor for you. You would have to apply for a Power of Attorney to allow them to do this, but this option would give you a Solicitor to guide you through the process. You can also instruct a Solicitor to act for you as Executor of the Estate, and they will then take on most of the necessary tasks for you. This can help ease the load, whilst allowing you to remain the Executor and in ultimate control of the process.
For information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 02920 855277.
The question posed is based upon a hypothetical situation. This content does not constitute legal advice and is provided for general information purposes only.