What is a Power Reserved Form?
A Power Reserved Form is used when an executor does not wish to take on the role of administering the estate of a deceased person.
An executor is normally named by the individual at the time of writing their will. It can be a very responsible and demanding role which involves valuing all their assets, settling their debts and distributing any outstanding monies and possessions to the beneficiaries, according to the wishes of the deceased.
What must be remembered is that if the estate is not handled correctly, then the executor or executors can be held personally liable. With this in mind, it is not unreasonable therefore for an executor to change their mind or simply request not to take up the role, when notified of the person's death.
By completing and returning the Power Reserved Form (also known as a PA25) to the probate registry, you as the named executor are simply saying that you wish to renounce the role and it may be passed onto another executor to fulfill.
Sometimes, rather than renouncing the role altogether, a probate practitioner can often prove useful - overseeing all legal activity and tax issues, they ensure the probate process is progressing as it should and that all aspects of the process are being addressed correctly.
A Power Reserved Form, otherwise known as Form PA25, should be used to inform the Probate Registry that although you have been named as executor of a person’s will, you in fact do not wish to take on the role at the current time and wish to renounce the responsibility.
It is natural to feel guilty about not wishing to take on the role of executor. Although flattering to have been chosen, the weight of its responsibility should not be taken lightly. Always remember that if any part of the probate process is not carried out correctly, you as executor could be held personally liable.
If you feel that you’re not ready to take on this responsibility and wish to renounce your role in the probate process, you must do so before it begins. After this time, you could still be held accountable for any inaccuracies.
Registering a Power Reserved Form doesn’t have to be your only option, however. If you’re simply unable to dedicate the time or resource to probate, then you can still remain as executor, but delegate the task to a probate professional, who will oversee the entire procedure and ensure that all tasks and valuations are accurate and carried out to a high standard.