Q&As

T has died testate, leaving most of their estate to a former partner, X. X is also named as T’s executor. How can T’s surviving relatives challenge the legacy to X and X’s appointment as executor?

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Produced in partnership with Mariel Stringer-Fehlow of Mishcon de Reya LLP
Last updated on 07/10/2019

The following Private Client Q&A produced in partnership with Mariel Stringer-Fehlow of Mishcon de Reya LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • T has died testate, leaving most of their estate to a former partner, X. X is also named as T’s executor. How can T’s surviving relatives challenge the legacy to X and X’s appointment as executor?
  • Challenging the validity of the Will
  • Valid Will—Financial provision claim
  • Removing X as executor

T has died testate, leaving most of their estate to a former partner, X. X is also named as T’s executor. How can T’s surviving relatives challenge the legacy to X and X’s appointment as executor?

First, to deal with the possible implication that T made the Will when they were still with X, but then separated, and did not change their Will before they died: unless there are questions over the validity of the Will—or T and X had been married and then divorced—there is not much that can be done regarding the legacies or the choice of executor, without the consent of X (or without bringing a claim for financial provision as set out below).

If the grant has not yet been taken out (and X has not yet ‘intermeddled’ in T’s estate), T’s relatives could contact X to ask them to renounce the executorship and even to disclaim X’s interest in the estate. If X were willing to renounce, then a simple deed of renunciation could be lodged at the Probate Registry. If no one else had been named in T’s Will as executor in the event that X could not act, however, T’s relatives would then have to apply to court to have an administrator appointed.

See Practice Note: Removal, renunciation and retirement of personal representatives.

Challenging the validity of the Will

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