• Send us a message

    Fill in our form and we'll get back to you as soon as possible

    Please enter name
    Please enter your telephone number
    Please enter your email address
    Please let us know which of offices would most convenient for you?
    Please enter the details of your enquiry
    Please enter the verification code
    Send us a message
  • Services for you
  • Services for business

Removing an Executor from a Will

When a person passes away, their Will executor has the important responsibility of administering their estate according to their wishes. Under some circumstances, however, removing an executor from a Will may be necessary.

The duties of a Will executor involve valuing the estate and reporting the value to HMRC, paying any debts, and distributing the estate to the beneficiaries. They are also responsible for arranging the deceased’s funeral and keeping accounts of the assets.

In some cases, the executor may be unable to fulfil their role or may have acted negligently, and in these instances, one or more of the estate beneficiaries may seek to remove the executor.

Our expert contentious probate solicitors at Glanvilles can support clients with a wide range of associated legal matters, including:

  • Early legal advice on removing an executor
  • Support for removing an executor
  • Dispute resolution processes
  • Representation in Court proceedings

Contact our Wills and probate solicitors today

If you are considering removing an executor from a Will and need legal advice, speak to one of our expert solicitors in ChichesterFareham or Havant or use the contact form to ask us a question and get a quick response.

How our expert solicitors can help

Legal advice on removing an executor

If you are concerned about the conduct or suitability of a Will executor and would like to have them removed, our solicitors can provide expert legal advice. We can offer unbiased recommendations based on your situation, assessing your legal standpoint and whether you have a case.

If you have been appointed as Will executor, and you feel that you are unable to carry out your role, we can also offer specialist guidance in these situations.

Support for removing an executor

Where our solicitors believe that you have a case, we will guide you through the relevant legal processes and assist you in gathering evidence where appropriate.

Under most circumstances removing an executor from a Will is only possible under the following circumstances:

  • The executor cannot carry out their duties. For instance, they have a physical or mental disability
  • The Will executor is judged to be unsuitable for the role. For example, they are incorrectly managing the estate or are stealing from it
  • The individual has been disqualified from their position due to a recent criminal conviction

Dispute resolution processes

Before attempting to remove the executor, the first step should be to have a solicitor contact the executor by letter. The letter should formally explain the issues and allow the executor to respond by explaining their handling of the estate.

If the executor submits a response that the beneficiary does not find satisfactory, it may be necessary to formally invite them to step down from their role. Failing this, it may be possible to settle the dispute using mediation processes, meaning that matters can be kept out of Court.

Our solicitors have plenty of experience in settling all manner of disputes between beneficiaries and executors and will always attempt to resolve things as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Court proceedings

To remove an executor, it may be necessary to go through Court proceedings, depending on the circumstances. Our lawyers can offer full support throughout the process, assisting you in preparing and adhering to your concerns at every stage.

Generally, Court proceedings are only relied on where more amicable methods of resolving the issues have failed. Applications to the Court are made according to section 50 Administration of Justice Act 1985.

Why choose Glanvilles’ legal team?

Our expert solicitors can offer an empathetic and professional service, supporting you in protecting your interests and those of your loved ones. If a Will executor is mishandling your loved one’s estate, we appreciate that this puts you in a difficult and stressful position.

Our lawyers take a practical approach to swiftly resolve matters, allowing everyone involved to move forward.

We understand that the legal issues surrounding Wills can be difficult to comprehend and that estate administration can give rise to various disputes. Rest assured, we will ensure that you understand the processes involved and are well aware of your legal rights.

Frequently asked questions

What are the executors’ duties?

According to section 25 of the Administration Estates Act 1925 the executors’ duties are as follows:

  • Collect the deceased’s estate and administer it correctly, in line with the law
  • Present an inventory of the estate when asked to do so in Court
  • Present the grant of probate or administration when required to do so

Executors are also required to arrange the deceased’s funeral, prepare tax returns for the estate, and keep accounting records to represent all assets.

What are the grounds for removing an executor from a Will?

The grounds for removing an executor are as follows:

  • The person has been convicted of a crime and or is serving prison time
  • The executor cannot perform their duties due to a physical or mental disability
  • They are considered unsuitable for the position. For instance, they aren’t handling the estate correctly, are keeping incorrect records, or are stealing assets

How much does it cost to remove an executor UK?

The amount that it costs is typically decided by the Court and may vary according to the case and circumstances. Due to this, it can be difficult to provide an estimate. If the application to remove the executor is successful, the executor will usually be required to pay the associated legal fees.

Equally, if a beneficiary attempts the process and loses the case, they are likely to have to pay towards the legal fees.

Can you change an executor after death?

Removing an executor from a Will is not possible if the owner of the estate has already died. However, if you are having a dispute with an executor, you may seek legal support to help you resolve your issues.

Where you are not able to remove an executor, you may still be able to pursue a claim against them. There are various circumstances where you might wish to make a claim against an executor, for instance:

  • The executor has failed to pay the deceased’s debts before distributing the estate between the beneficiaries
  • The executor has not provided the beneficiaries with accounts that represent the estate
  • They have delayed administering the estate
  • They have taken assets from the estate that they were not entitled to

Our specialist solicitors have various resources at their disposal to challenge the executor of a Will, including alternative dispute resolution or court proceedings where necessary.

How can a solicitor remove an executor?

A solicitor can support a beneficiary to gain the Court’s permission to remove an executor from a Will. The solicitor can conduct investigations to check how the executor has managed the estate and to review the validity of the claims made against them.

If it is discovered that the claims made against the Will executor are correct, the Court will proceed to remove the executor.

Can an executor choose to step down?

If the executor no longer wishes to continue their position, they have the right to give up their role, however, this must be done early on. In cases where a grant of representation has already been issued, the executor will not be permitted to step down.

If you need advice on giving up your role as an executor, please get in touch with us using the contact details below.

Contact our Wills and probate lawyers today

If you would like advice on removing an executor from a Will, speak to one of our specialist solicitors in ChichesterFareham or Havant or use the contact form below to ask us a question and get a quick response.