Wills and an elderly executor

A friend has died and left another friend holding the executor’s responsibilities.The executor to the will is not a beneficiary.
The executor is quite frail himself and has no knowledge of computers which might help him find some answers.
Can he relinquish his executorship to a solicitor or other party?
I feel the work will see this old mate in the grave as well.

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Yes, he can relinquish the poistion if he feels incapable or does not want to be involved.

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Yes, he can do this, by signing a deed of renunciation. I only know this because I looked it up! This link should help you and him to do the necessary.

Thank you both. This will lift a weight from his shoulders.

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I would suggest the choice of any new executor is agreed with the beneficiaries - as this may avoid debates and issues around costs if a professional is engaged and there are meaningful assets in the estate.

FYI, the guidance on-line (HMRC) is good but not 100% from recent experience.

I witnessed a PA15 renunciation recently and it’s very straightforward.

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Being an executor is an honour in some ways, but also a heavy burden if you’re the sole executor with any or many beneficiaries.

I assume nomination of an executor is made impartially by the courts if he was sole executor, maybe not - I’m uncertain if multiple beneficiaries can agree on a replacement executor or if this has to be done independently by a court with no vested interest.

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Yes,it is a burden,I have processed four different estates.

Problem here is the executor has no real knowledge of how the world works or much money to help fulfill his friends wishes.

I will obtain a copy of the forms and try and bring all parties together.

The company who prepared the will and the beneficiary are very large institutions so it would be great if a way could be found for them to sort it out between themselves.

I do not want to get to involved but he is so obviously worried by the sudden responsibility.

Thanks again.


Your comments around who prepared the Will and the beneficiary(ies?) suggest there could be say a bank and large charitable beneficiary here (no names, no pack drill)?

Just be aware (you probably already know) that banks and other akin bodies tend to levy relatively high charges for their executor services, and also have a reputation for acting slowly. I’d avoid going that route personally. As you say, better to liaise with the beneficiary(ies) too before any revised arrangements are made, as if a larger charity(?), then they may have recommended parties in situations like this, as it’s in their financial interests too.

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