Q&A How can we replace an executor of a will who has dementia?

Q:        My father was diagnosed with dementia four years ago and his general health is rapidly declining. Now my mum, who is the sole executor of my dad’s Will, has been diagnosed with the same awful disease. As Mum is no longer capable of making rational decisions, what will happen about his Will when my father dies?

A:        This certainly is a difficult situation, but not uncommon. It highlights the importance of having additional or replacement executors in a Will and setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney so that someone with capacity, whom you trust, can deal with matters for you, if/when you are not able to.

If your mother no longer has capacity she needs to be removed as executor of your father’s Will. You will need to engage the Court of Protection for either or both of your parents. The Court will need to appoint deputies to deal with financial matters in the absence of attorneys. If you are appointed on behalf of your father, you may be able to apply to the Court to have a statutory Will made, to amend the current one. This is a lengthy process, and the Court takes into account a multitude of factors before approving the making of a statutory Will.

The alternative is that you apply to become your mother’s deputy. If she survives your father, then you can apply to step into her shoes as her deputy to wind up your father’s estate.

If your mother dies before your father and your father’s Will remains unchanged, then a beneficiary of his Will can make an application for grant of letters of administration and wind up the estate in accordance with the Will of the deceased. 

Clearly the above is not straightforward, so you will need to speak to a solicitor to weigh up all the options.

This question has been answered by Ulia Choudhry, a Solicitor with GHP Legal. If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients.  Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email. If you have a new enquiry or for an appointment visit www.ghplegal.com or contact one of our offices: Wrexham 01978 291456, Llangollen 01978 860313, Oswestry 01691 659194 

Ulia Choudhry

Ulia Choudhry

Partner

A Partner who specialises in Probate, Wills, Trusts and Tax and is based in Wrexham