0330 606 9548

Request a callback

How Does Probate Work if the Executor of a Will has Died?

7th February 2017

By Probate Lawyer Jessica Llewellyn

The role of an Executor is to establish the deceased's Estate, obtain Probate, collect the assets, settle the liabilities and distribute the Estate. If the Executor dies before the deceased, before Probate is issued or after Probate is issued, you will need to consider who is to administer the Estate. This will depend on the circumstances.

For free initial advice and guidance call our Probate Advisors on 03306069584 or contact us online and we will help you.

Where an Executor who is named in the Will dies before the deceased and before Probate has been issued by the Court, provided there are other named Executors in the Will, then it would be their responsibility to deal with the Estate.

If all of the named Executors have died before the deceased then the Non-Contentious Probate Rules 1987 must be followed. In these cases it is most likely that the beneficiary or beneficiaries who are receiving the largest sum of the Estate in the Will would have the right to deal with the Estate. A maximum of four Executors can act in an Estate and it is advisable that two act to avoid such circumstances.

Where there are more than four beneficiaries of an Estate they are all equally entitled to act, although only four can. For example, if the deceased left their Estate equally between their six children then all of them are equally entitled to act, but only up to four can apply for Probate. It is for the family to decide who should act and deal with the Estate. For practicable purposes it would be recommended that two beneficiaries act.

With our Probate Complete Service we take full responsibility for getting Grant of Probate and dealing with the Legal, Tax (excl. VAT), Property & Estate Administration affairs.

Where the sole Executor dies after Probate has been issued by the Court and the Executor has not completed the administration of the Estate, you should first find out whether they left a Will.

If the Executor has left a Will then it is the responsibility of their Executor to finalise the Estate. This is called the Chain of Representation. The Probate that was issued by the original Executor must be revoked with the Probate Registry and their Executor must make a new application to the Court for Probate to be issued in their name.

If the Executor who has died has not left a Will then the Non-Contentious Probate Rules 1987 must be followed and again, it is most likely that the beneficiary or beneficiaries who are receiving the largest sum of the Estate in the Will would have the right to deal with the Estate.

The Probate that was issued by the original Executor must be revoked with the Probate Registry and a new application made by the person entitled under those rules. Any Executor who has renounced their right to obtain Probate is not able to take the place of the Executor who has died.

For more information see Renunciation as Executor of a Will.

For free initial advice and guidance call our Probate Advisors on 03306069584 or contact us online and we will call you.

Call  03306069584

I am writing to thank you for all of your work on my brothers Estate. It was something that I would not have liked to attempt and has helped me enormously. G.M, Sheffield
More Testimonials

I liked that I had one point of contact and when Stephen wasn't available e.g. holiday, his colleagues would deal with the case. J.H, Middlesex
More Testimonials

Customer Satisfaction

4.5 stars out of 5 for Customer Satisfaction Rating

4.5 stars based on 898 Independent Surveys

Back to top