What Can I Do If The Executor Is Not Doing A Good Job?

You’ll need to provide evidence that the Executor’s behaviour is detrimental to the beneficiaries.

We're rated 4.8
on
By Nicola Briggs - 8th November 2021

If you want to remove an Executor, you need to make an application to the court. You’ll need to provide evidence that the Executor’s behaviour is detrimental to the beneficiaries.

Have you fallen out with an Executor? 

There are times when the beneficiaries of a Will want to remove an Executor during the probate and estate administration process. There are also occasions when the other Executors fall out with one Executor in particular. Joint appointments can be especially problematic because all matters have to be agreed by all Executors. There is no procedure whereby decisions can be made on a majority vote. It is far more common for brothers and sisters to fall out where they are jointly appointed than for them to fall out with a professional Trustee.

These tensions can prevent a proper and timely administration of an estate. Things may become so difficult that it is necessary to apply to the High Court to have the difficult Executor removed. This is a draconian and expensive act.

Get in touch with our experts today for free, no obligation legal advice


Request a Callback

What happens at court?

The court has complete discretion as to whether or not to remove that Executor. It will not remove an Executor just because the Executors do not like one another, or the beneficiaries do not like the sole Executor. This is not a ground for removal. Instead, there has to be specific evidence that there is a detriment to the beneficiaries to the point where objectively the administration is prejudiced. Lack of confidence or mistrust of one another is not a sufficient cause for removal. Strict evidence must be produced as to what the Executors have or have not done.

The court will consider all relevant circumstances to see how the administration can be carried out and completed properly with due regard to the welfare of the beneficiaries. The result might not be the expected outcome, as there is nothing to stop the court from removing an applicant Executor and replacing them with a professional, such as a solicitor.

The court will also look at the Testator’s wishes and consider why that Executor was appointed in the first place. They may be able to bring something to the table which will be lost if they are removed.

Get in touch with our experts today for free, no obligation legal advice


Request a Callback

When can I make the application?

You can begin court action straightaway: you do not have to wait until a Grant of Probate has been issued. An Executor’s appointment is by virtue of the Will and not the Grant, so proceedings can be instigated quickly. The courts will make every effort for the matter to be brought before them sooner rather than later.

Other options

There is an alternative to removing the Executor, which is to make an application to the court for a decision on a specific issue. Executors may disagree on one single point, but otherwise be capable of running the administration together. A specific issue application, once decided, will enable them to continue.

Get expert legal advice

As general practitioners, we would seek the advice of a barrister competent in this field as to the strength of the evidence, before recommending that any of these actions are taken. We have access to many barrister’s chambers and can select the barrister we believe has the most experience with regard to your particular problem.

If you want to talk to a solicitor about removing an Executor, contact us now for a free initial enquiry.

Get in touch with our experts today for free, no obligation legal advice


Request a Callback

Call or email us in order for us to discuss in greater detail how our solicitors can move your case forward today.

Book a Consultation

Contact us today to talk about your situation

    We're rated 4.8
    on
    Online Chat