Do all executors need to apply for Probate?
When our expert Wills Solicitors are drafting Wills, we would generally suggest appointing at least two Executors, and up to four. Alternatively, you could appoint one Executor, with a replacement or replacements. This is because, if you only have one Executor, and they are then unable to act, and you have not named any replacement, this clause of your Will would fail, and someone that you have potentially not chosen would need to step in as the Executor.
If you decide to appoint four Executors, you may wonder whether they would all need to act: they do not. If one (or more) of the Executors do not want to act, the remaining Executor (or Executors) could apply for Probate with power reserved to the Executors who are not applying. This means that the other Executors who are not applying could act in the future, if they needed to, but they will not be making the application for now. The other way that an Executor could apply without the others, if the others are in agreement and do not want to act, would be for them to renounce their entitlement to act as an Executor. This requires a specific legal form to be signed, and the Executors who are renouncing cannot have already ‘intermeddled’ with the Estate.
For more advice on applying for Probate, or not acting as an Executor if you have been named in someone’s Will, contact our expert team of Wills and Probate Solicitors online, or contact your local office.