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Being an executor carries a lot of responsibility: the executor must look after all your affairs after your death and distribute your estate between the beneficiaries following the terms of your will.

This can sometimes be challenging for several reasons such as bad communication and strained relationships between executors or beneficiaries. In other cases, families can find that the executor isn’t following the terms of a will, or they are using their duties for their benefit.

What should I do if an executor is failing to undertake their responsibilities effectively?

Firstly, have a conversation and be clear about the issues. Ideally, your discussion should be in writing so everything can be documented to be referred to if needed.

If it’s not possible to resolve the issues in an amicable way, we suggest that you get in touch with our solicitors. There are ways to remove the executor and appoint a new one, but this can depend on your current circumstances. For example, whether there is more than one executor and if probate has already been granted.

It’s not a very straightforward process so it’s really important to get the right legal advice. Our team is always available if professional help is needed and together, we can look at the benefits or negatives of appointing a new executor.

Our main advice for deciding who to appoint as your executor is to pick someone you and your family trust and have a close relationship with and more importantly someone who can handle the responsibility.

Read our blog on choosing your executor.

We offer free no-obligation appointments; you have nothing to lose in discussing your circumstances and needs with us. Our team can help you with:

  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Lasting Powers of Attorney and the Court of Protection
    • Arrangements for someone to take control of your financial affairs if you become incapable of managing them yourself.
    • Handing over control of your Health and Welfare decisions and the formalities and safeguards you require.
  • Care Fees Advice
  • Tax and Estate Planning

If you need advice on choosing your executor or appointing a new one, you can contact us using the form on our website or by calling your local office.