Removal Of Executor After Probate Has Been Granted

Many disputes over the administration of an estate can often be resolved by removing the executor, typically in favour of a professional executor, which we have covered in previous blogs.

If agreed, the removal of an executor before probate has been granted is a relatively simple process. The executor can simply renounce their position in favour of the chosen replacement. Renunciation is also available after probate has been granted, providing the executor has not intermeddled with the estate.

What is intermeddling?

Section 28 of the Administration of Estates Act 1925 holds intermeddling to be:

  • Obtaining, receiving or holding the deceased’s assets without full consideration, or
  • Releasing any debt or liability due to the deceased’s estate.

This essentially covers any instance where the executor deals with the deceased’s assets in connection with his/her role as executor. There are few exceptions to this, including:

  • Arranging and paying for the funeral of the deceased;
  • Carrying out urgent repairs to the deceased’s property;
  • Insuring the deceased’s assets and other similar safeguarding actions.

If there has been no intermeddling the executor can renounce their position, providing this is done in writing and by Deed. If however, the executor has intermeddled in the estate, the Court will be required to make an order to remove the executor.

Applications to remove an executor after probate has been granted

An application to remove an executor whom has already obtained probate must be made under Section 50 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985. This allows the Court to make an Order appointing a substitute executor or terminate the appointment of an executor when there is more than one appointed.

To simplify the process, applications can be made by part 8 of the Court rules providing there is no significant dispute of fact. The longer, more expensive Part 7 route should otherwise be used. It should also be noted that the Court will aim to deal with applications promptly in order to allow administration of an estate to take place.

remove executor after probate

How Nelsons can help

Stuart Parris is a Trainee Solicitor at Nelsons.

If you are seeking to remove the executor of an estate or are an executor wanting to step down, please contact a member of our Inheritance Disputes team in Derby, Leicester or Nottingham who will be happy to assist.

Please call 0800 024 1976 or contact us via our online enquiry form.

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