Is An Executor Being Slow? Take Action!

legal action against executor

Where a person is appointed as an executor under a Will, they must apply for a Grant of Probate in order to administer the estate. However, what happens if the person who is appointed as an executor delays or declines to take the necessary Grant of Probate?

You first need to ask yourself, if the person entitled to the Grant were to renounce would you be entitled? If you are, for example, the next of kin of the deceased the answer would be yes. If you are entitled to the Grant of Probate, you can utilise what is known as the citation procedure.

Citation to accept or refuse a Grant of Probate

There are three different types of citations that can be applied for. The most appropriate one in these circumstances being a citation to accept or refuse a Grant.

In such an application, the person making the application is known as the Citor, and the person to whom the application is made against is known as the Citee.

What is a citation to accept or refuse a Grant?

This is essentially where a Citor applies to the registry requiring the Citee to apply for a Grant of Probate. If they fail to do so, the Citor can ask for an order that they instead are able to apply for the Grant.


1. Caveat

A caveat must first be entered. This prevents a Grant of Probate from being issued.

2. Documents to be sent

A draft of the citation must then be prepared and lodged with the registry together with a copy of the following:

  • The Will (provided the deceased did not die intestate);
  • Witness statement in support of the application;
  • Any necessary documentation; and
  • £4.00 fee.

The citation will set out the reason for its issue and the interest of the party issuing it. In addition, it also sets out the order the Citor is asking to be made.

3. Served

Once issued, the citation must be personally served on the Citee.

4. Affidavit of Service

Once served an affidavit of service must be filed with the Court confirming that service has taken place.

5. Appearance

The Citee has eight days from the date of service to enter an appearance with the registry.

What happens if the Citee fails to enter an appearance?

If the Citee fails to enter an appearance, the Citor can seek an order either requiring the Citee to take the Grant out within a specified time or can seek an order to apply for the Grant themselves.

If the Citee does enter an appearance but still fails to apply for a Grant, the Citor can apply by summons for an order for the Grant to be made to the Citor.


Whilst this is a rather complicated process, it can be effective if done in the right way. It is therefore incredibly important to seek legal advice as soon as possible if you find yourself in a situation such as this.

Citation Grant Probate

How can we help?

Ruby Ashby is an Associate in our expert Dispute Resolution team.

If you need any advice concerning the subjects discussed in this article, please do not hesitate to contact Ruby or another member of the team in Derby, Leicester, or Nottingham on 0800 024 1976 or via our online enquiry form.

Contact us



Contact us today

We're here to help.

Call us on 0800 024 1976

Main Contact Form

Used on contact page

  • Email us