Q&A Can a beneficiary administer the deceased’s estate if executors have died?

Q:      My mum has Alzheimer’s and has been in a home for the past two years. In the last month she has declined considerably, and I fear she will not last much longer. Unfortunately, I have just discovered she made a Will several years ago and never updated it, and the executors she appointed to administer it are no longer alive. Please can you explain what will happen about her Will now? Could my brother and I, as beneficiaries, administer her estate?

A:       If all the named Executors in your mother’s Will have died, the order of who is entitled to administer her estate must be established using the Non-Contentious Probate Rules 1987 (NCPR 1987).

If your mother’s executor died leaving a Will, then their executor will step into their shoes and wind up your mother’s estate as well. This is referred to as the chain of representation and effectively means that the executor will have to deal with the administration of two estates; the one in which they are named as executor and the original estate of your mother.

If your mother’s executor did not leave a Will, then you and your brother as beneficiaries of her Will could apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration.

As your mother is still alive, you have already applied to be appointed as a deputy for her with regard to her finances. You may wish to apply to the Court of Protection in this respect to have a ‘statutory Will’ prepared however this a very long process and you will have to give consideration to the cost effectiveness of carrying out such a task.

If you do proceed down this route, then please consult a solicitor who has experience dealing with the Court of Protection.

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

Solicitor

Part of our Probate, Wills, Tax and Trusts team in Wrexham

Victoria Wilson

Victoria Wilson

Partner

A Partner and Head of our Probate, Wills, Trusts and Tax team