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What options do I have as an executor named in a Will?

If you have been named as an executor in a Will of a loved one, you may find it difficult to act following their death. The role of an executor carries significant responsibilities and therefore you may be wondering what options are available to you if when you find yourself in the position of an executor.

  • Renunciation

Your appointment as executor does not mean that you under a legal obligation to accept the role. You do have the option of instructing solicitors to act for you, but you may feel you are not in a position to provide the information required. If you are not willing or able to act, you can renounce your right. You will need to do this at the beginning of the process before you have taken any steps as an executor.

  • Reserve power  

You may not wish to be completely excluded from the process by renouncing your right as an executor.  This could be because you don’t have enough time to deal with the administration or because you don’t feel emotionally strong enough to deal with it. In this case, you could have power reserved to you. The other named executors can obtain the grant of probate, but if you have power reserved to you, you will retain the right to prove the Will at a later stage when you may have more time to commit to the process or when you feel emotionally ready to do so.

  • Act as an executor

You could, of course, accept your appointment as an executor if you feel you are emotionally strong enough to accept all the responsibilities that come with the role. If you don’t have the time to commit to administering the estate, you can instruct a probate solicitor to assist you.

If you are unsure about what the role of an executor entails, the options available to you or how to renounce or reserve power to you, please get in touch with our Private Client Department, based in London and Guildford, where one of our experienced solicitors will be happy to guide you through the process and act for you should you require assistance in administering an estate.

Our Private Wealth Solicitors have extensive experience in dealing with wills, estate administration, trusts, powers of attorney and tax planning. If you need legal advice on Living Wills or LPAs contact our team of professionals on +44(0)1483 451900 or alternatively make an online enquiry here and we will contact you.