Removal, renunciation and retirement of personal representatives
Removal, renunciation and retirement of personal representatives

The following Wills & Probate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Removal, renunciation and retirement of personal representatives
  • Renunciation
  • Power reserved
  • Retirement
  • Substitution or removal
  • Revocation
  • Amendment of grant
  • Passing over

The rights of a person appointed executor by a Will cease if they:

  1. die without having taken out probate

  2. fail to appear on being cited to take out probate

  3. renounce probate

A person:

  1. cannot be forced to act as executor

  2. may renounce their right to take a grant so long as they have not impliedly indicated acceptance of the office by intermeddling with the estate

It is irrelevant that they had agreed to accept the office during the testator’s lifetime.

A person may have power reserved to them.

The rights of a person appointed executor by a Will also cease if:

  1. probate is revoked

  2. the court removes the personal representative (PR) and appoints a substitute

  3. a district judge or registrar makes an order amending a grant

  4. the court passes over the person entitled to the grant

Renunciation

Executors

A person may renounce their right to take a grant.

They will lose their right to renounce if they have:

  1. taken a grant, or

  2. before this, if they have intermeddled in the estate

For more information, see rule 37 of the Non-Contentious Probate Rules 1987 (NCPR 1987).

Intermeddling is doing something that shows an intention to accept office. Acts of charity, humanity or necessity are not sufficient to constitute acceptance.

It is not possible to:

  1. assign the office

  2. renounce part of the office

Consider renunciation where:

  1. the Will does not