Is an Executor Required to Make an Application For Probate?

Technically speaking the answer is yes. As part of the process of writing a will there should be a person, or company, nominated to act as executor and it is the responsibility of this individual to make an Application for Probate.
In some cases the person named as executor is not able to make the probate application. They may have passed away, or simply not have the ability to fulfil this process. In these cases another person may step and make an application for Letters of Administration, which will give them the same legal rights as those given with Grant of Probate.
It is common practice for Banks and Lawyers that have provided a will-writing service to have themselves named as executors in these wills. These companies may offer this service free of charge as they can recoup the costs involved when they are administering the estate. Despite the fact that they may have written the will, and been named as executors, there is no obligation to use them. You can ask an executor to resign their position at any time.
If you feel as though the person named as an executor is not the right person for this job you can contact them directly and ask them to resign their position. You might find that the bank or solicitor involved is resistant as they will have some investment in the process. You can ask for them to give you an outline of the costs involved up-front and then compare this against a fixed-fee low cost alternative. If you ask them to price match with the cheaper alternative they will be less likely to compete for the business.
If you would like to find out more about the legal obligations of an executor you can call free on 0800 612 6105, lines are open until 10pm, 7 days a week.

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