Administration of Estates, Removal of Executors and Seeking an Account
How long does an executor have to finalise the estate and how do I remove/replace an executor or administrator?
Generally, personal representatives (executors or administrators) are allowed 12 months to administer an estate without interference from beneficiaries or creditors. This is referred to as the executor’s year, but is not a rule set in stone.
If you are a beneficiary, you are entitled to apply to the court to seek the removal/replacement of an executor or administrator.
If a grant has not been taken out from the Probate Registry, an application can be made under section 116 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 to remove (or ‘pass over’) a personal representative and to appoint an alternative administrator. An application under section 116 can be made by any interested party, not just beneficiaries and creditors.
If a grant has been taken out from the Probate Registry, a beneficiary will need to apply to the court under section 50 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985 for the removal or replacement of a personal representative.
The executor/administrator is refusing to provide the beneficiaries with information about the estate – how can I get an account?
Personal representatives must keep estate accounts and these should be made available for inspection by a beneficiary or creditor on request. If this request is refused or if the accounts are not clear or accurate, then it is possible to apply to the court for an inventory and account order. The court can then order that the information be provided.
Where executors are not administering an estate, it is possible to issue a citation to encourage action to be taken. There are three types of citation. Read more here: What can I do if an executor is not administering an estate?
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