Probate Wills

I Have Been Appointed as an Executor, but I Don't Want to Act!

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So when a loved one passes away, you may (or may not) have heard about probate and the possible need to undergo a process called probate. Probate is a process by which upon successful application and grant from HMRC and the probate office, the executors of the estate can gather the assets of the estate, settle any debts / liabilities and then distribute the wealth amongst the correct beneficiaries. This is a complicated area and as such is covered by other articles on our website.

Being appointed as an executor and renouncing

One situation that may arise is when you are appointed an executor of a deceased’s estate but in fact, you do not want to take on the role of executor. The process by which you reject the role of acting as an executor is by ‘renouncing’ the right to accept the role of an executor of the estate. If there are multiple executors, then of course the other executors may still continue to accept the appointment even if you wish to not do so. The timing of this ‘renouncing’ can happen at any point up to the issue of the Grant of Probate (however, this is only possible so long as they have not intermeddled with the estate). If you are considering to not accept the appointment as an executor or you wish to renounce, from the date of death, up to the date of Grant of Probate, you will need to be careful to insure that you do not interfere with the administration of the Estate in a material way which could be deemed to indicate your acceptance. This includes actions such as receiving payments for debts due to the Deceased and also disposing of the Deceased’s personal possessions. (Of course if you are involved in arranging the funeral or dealing with the welfare of the Deceased’s family or dependants, this may not necessarily be deemed intermeddling).

So how do you renounce?

This will need to be made in writing and is signed by you in the presence of an individual who has no beneficial interest in the will. Additionally, this written renunciation must be filed at the Probate Registry before it becomes official. As with most probate related tasks, this is a highly complicated area within probate and as such, should you need further advice or help then please feel free to contact one of our probate specialists on 020 8429 9245 or email [email protected].

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