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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10115
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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My mother recently died having left a will that names solic

Customer Question

My mother recently died having left a will that names solicitors as executors and trustees. My sister and myself are sole beneficiaries of the will and wish to administer the estate ourselves because of the very high fees we have been quoted for what are non-legal functions. Can the solicitor refuse to renounce the executor role or agree to renounce for a high fee. Mary XXXXXXXX

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 2 years ago.

Hello there,

Thanks for your enquiry.

Could you please confirm if Probate will need to be obtained? (I'm sure you probably know but this will normally be required if the Estate is valued at over £5-10,000 or there is a property involved).

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Probate will be required because of the cash value of the estate, approx 60k. There is no property involved. My mother was in Care/Nursing Homes for the last 31/2 years of her life and my sister held Power of Attorney over her financial affairs.

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 2 years ago.

Hi Mary,

Thanks for your reply.

Unless it is a small Estate (one which is valued at under £5,000 and for which Probate is not required), I'm afraid that the Solicitors will not renounce their position as Executors. Nor are they entitled to charge a fee to you in return for renouncing.

Rightly or wrongly, your Mother appointed them as Executors, and as such they owe a duty to deal with the Estate and only if it is a small Estate will they agree to renounce.

I am sorry this is not the answer you were looking for.

You can of course ask them if they will renounce, but I am sure the answer will be No.

Please let me know if you require any further clarification.

Kind Regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your response and now I am confused.


My understanding is that a Executor has a responsibility to ensure that the wishes of the deceased as outlined in the will are carried out, AFTER, all liabilities have been cleared, including their own fees.


Carrying out my mother's wishes amounts to writing 4 cheques once all monies have been paid into the Executor for ???? - Deceased. As I write this note the Executors (Solicitors) are unable to apply for Probate as they cannot complete the forms and do not have the financial, or insurance information necessary to get a value on Date of Death.


The solicitor involved has told my sister that the fees will be £196.00 per hour with no indication of how many hours, and they want to charge a % of the estate total to get the Probate through. We have no recourse on their fee charges and the estate will not be released to beneficiaries until all debts are paid. My mother will turn in her grave. This is totally outrageous. There are countless self-help publications on Probate and no legal qualifications are required.


Perhaps we have come across the unscrupulous' solicitor and this is why I seek advice.

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 2 years ago.

Hi again,

Thanks for your reply and appreciate your annoyance.

All I can say is that the Solicitors would have fully advised your Mother that there would be fees payable if they were to act as Executors (the charges you quote are the average fees charged by a Probate Solicitor).

Likewise, we Solicitors also recommend that the family (2 children) are appointed as Executors, and normally a client would only appoint Solicitors if for whatever reason, they did not the family to act as Executors. Sorry if this is coming across badly, but just trying to be truthful.

If it is a simple Estate, I would suggest that you get all the paperwork to the Solicitor in an orderly manner and this reduce the time (and fees) that they ultimately charge.

Sorry I can't give you any better news.

Kind Regards

Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
1. I am afraid the answer above is at best incomplete. Where a solicitor is appointed as executor to an estate, then he becomes a trustee of that estate. Accordingly, you can remove the executor by all the beneficiaries under the will, serving a notice under section 19 of the Trusts of Land & Appointment of Trustees Act, 1996, calling upon the executor to resign his office. This notice is served by the beneficiaries on all the executors of the will should there be more than the solicitor. Once this notice has been served, then the executor has been removed in accordance with law. There is no need to go to court with this provision. A fresh executor can then be appointed to administer the estate by the beneficiaries. Should the solicitors contest this notice or contest the subsequent extraction of probate by the new executor, then in accordance with section 58 of the Trustee Act, 1925, any person beneficially interested in the will may bring an action compelling the solicitor to stand aside. However, be aware that there is no need in law to resort to legal proceedings if section 19 is used. A notice under section 19 should simply start "TAKE NOTICE that in accordance with the provisions of section 19 of the Trusts of Land & Appointment of Trustees Act, 1996, you are hereby removed as executor of the will of A.B. (DECEASED) by all the beneficiaries of the will C.D, E.F, G.H. (set out names of all beneficiaries) acting together". The solicitor should be asked in a subsequent letter sent by the new executor to send the original will and any client file of the deceased to the new executor.

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