Q&As

Can an executor of an estate appoint someone (say a solicitor) under a general power of attorney to sign the TR1 to complete the sale of the deceased's property? If so, what is the authority for this?

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Produced in partnership with Helen Galley of XXIV Old Buildings
Published on LexisPSL on 08/09/2016

The following Private Client Q&A produced in partnership with Helen Galley of XXIV Old Buildings provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can an executor of an estate appoint someone (say a solicitor) under a general power of attorney to sign the TR1 to complete the sale of the deceased's property? If so, what is the authority for this?

Can an executor of an estate appoint someone (say a solicitor) under a general power of attorney to sign the TR1 to complete the sale of the deceased's property? If so, what is the authority for this?

The general principle is that trusteeship is an office of personal confidence and generally, a trustee is in general, not entitled unless the settlement so provides, either to abandon it at will by retiring or to commit its exercise to others. As stated by Lord Langdale in Turner v Corney, ‘Trustees who take on themselves the management of property for the benefit of others have no right to shift their duty on other persons; and, if they employ an agent, they remain subject to responsibility towards their cestuis que trust, for whom they have undertaken the duty.’

This general principle applies not only to trustees of inter vivos settlements but also to executors and other personal representatives.

There are exceptions, and in this scenario the relevant one is most probably that set out in section 25 of the Trustee Act 1925 (TA 1925) as substituted by section 5 of the Trustee Delegation Act 1999 which came into force on 1 March 2000. This provision will allow an individual trustee or executor/personal representative (see TA 1925, s 25(10)) to delegate ‘the execution of all or any of the powers and discretions

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