Q&As

T appointed P as an executor of T's Will knowing that P was serving a prison sentence. T has now died and P is still in prison. Can P prove the Will and act in the administration of T's estate?

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Published on LexisPSL on 29/03/2021

The following Wills & Probate Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • T appointed P as an executor of T's Will knowing that P was serving a prison sentence. T has now died and P is still in prison. Can P prove the Will and act in the administration of T's estate?
  • Persons who can be appointed executors
  • Legal points

Persons who can be appointed executors

Under section 25 of the Administration of Estates Act 1925, the executor(s) will be under strict duties to ascertain the assets and liabilities of the estate of the deceased, keep accounts and distribute the estate according to the terms of the Will and the law. It will therefore be very important who is appointed executor(s).

A testator may, in effect, appoint any person(s) as their executor(s). This does not have to be a professionally qualified person but can be a spouse, child, relative or friend. The requirements for an executor to prove are that they must be at least 18 years of age and have capacity to act as such.

Under section 114(1) of the Senior Courts Act 1981, probate shall not be granted to more than four persons.

See, generally: Estate administration—overview and Personal representatives—overview.

Legal points

Various legal principles might apply in considering whether P can/will prove the Will and administer the estate:

  1. mention should be made of the forfeiture rule, which

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