What are the alternatives to removing an executor?
Legal 500 recommended contentious probate lawyer, Naomi Ireson, looks at the alternatives to removing an executor
We are often contacted by executors and beneficiaries who are faced with an executor who is not cooperating or who is refusing to administer an estate. People often think the only option open to them in these scenarios is an application to the court to remove the executor. While this is certainly an option that is generally worth exploring with your contentious probate lawyer, there are other, cheaper alternatives to removing an executor.
For instance, where there are two or more executors appointed under a Will and one is not cooperating, there is an option for the other executor(s) to apply for probate ‘with power reserved’, providing they give the uncooperative co-executor notice of their intention to do so. If successful, this will enable the estate to be administered without the ‘difficult’ executor bring involved; though it is still open to them to apply for a double grant in their name at a later date.
Another alternative is to apply to the Probate Registry or the court for directions to be given as to what each executor should and should not do. Although this involves an application being made, it is more straightforward that applying to remove an executor, and there is likely to be a smaller risk of an adverse costs order being made against the applicant.
It is also worth bearing in mind that if an executor has a caveat entered, preventing probate from being granted, then it is open to the co-executors to warn that caveat and if necessary, seek a summons for the discontinuance of the caveat from the Probate Registry.
You can read Naomi Ireson’s companion piece on removing an executor here.
For further guidance on the alternatives to removing an executor, please feel free to contact our legal helpline for a free case review. Contact us on 0333 888 0407 or email us at [email protected]