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Inheritance & Welfare Specialist Ciara Hannawin answers a question on Will Executors

Q. I need to know how to get a solicitor to step down from being an Executor. My son died recently and his Will says that his local firm of solicitors are the Executors but if they don’t want to do it, I am.  I want to act for his estate as I knew him best and I want to make sure his children get his money rather than his ex as they’re only little. The solicitors have said they won’t step aside for me to be the Executor. How can I make them?

A. A firm of solicitors are not required to ‘renounce’ their appointment as Executors so it is unlikely you will be able to force them to do so. Guidance from the Law Society suggests that if they are asked to renounce, they should consider the reason they were appointed by the deceased and the complexity of the estate.

Your son appointed this firm for a reason. They took his instructions and they need a very good reason to go against his wishes. It is likely they have been appointed as Trustees as well as Executors. In this situation, with minor children involved, they have a significant duty to ensure matters are dealt with in an appropriate way.

As professional Executors, they are professionally bound to administer the Will correctly so you should not be concerned about the distribution of the estate. You have not mentioned if your son was married to his ex and whether they got divorced before his death. If the children have been inadequately provided for in the Will, the solicitors will ensure their rights are protected and will discuss this with the children’s guardians. It’s not clear whether his ex is the mother of the children so of course she may be the guardian. If you are concerned about the children, you should seek advice from a solicitor who specialises in this area.

Contact us about our Inheritance & Welfare Team who can advise you today.

Please call 0800 916 9055, or email enquiries@slatergordon.co.uk. Our Wills and Probate Specialists operate across the country and can offer immediate and accessible representation anywhere in the UK.By Ciara Hannawin, Inheritance & Welfare Expert.

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