When is an Independent Administrator appointed?
If there is a Will then an independent Administrator may be appointed where
- The Executor(s) have pre-deceased the testator
- The Executors named in the Will are unable or unwilling to act
- The Executors named in the Will are unsuitable for the role (this must be more than just not being liked by the beneficiaries)
- There is a dispute between the Executors which is preventing the administration of the Estate
- The beneficiaries have concerns about some or all of the Executors that are sufficient to justify their removal or replacement
Where no Will has been made an Independent Administrator might be appointed if it is difficult to work out who in fact should apply for the Grant of Letters of Administration or if no-one is willing to take that step.
An Independent Administrator can be appointed by agreement or following an application to the Court. If the administration of the Estate is being delayed the application to appoint the Independent Administrator should be made as soon as reasonably possible to avoid losses to the Estate itself.
Applications to appoint an Independent Administrator can be made before or after a Grant has been issued in the Estate.
Who can be appointed as an Independent Administrator?
An Independent Administrator will be a person who is professionally qualified and has experience in the administration of Estates. This will usually be a solicitor who is STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), TEP (Trust and Estate Practitioner) or ACTAPs (Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists) qualified. They will be registered with the Law Society.
Court approval is required for the appointment of an Independent Administrator and the Court will assure itself that the person proposed as the Independent Administrator is suitable.
What does an Independent Administrator do?
Once appointed the Independent Administrator will take all necessary steps to advance and finalise the administration of the Estate of the deceased. This will include applying for a Grant if none has yet been obtained, collecting in the assets of the Estate, settling the liabilities before distributing the Estate in accordance with the Will or the rules of Intestacy (if there is no Will).
The Independent Administrator will act in a neutral capacity and take objective steps to administer the Estate for the benefit of the beneficiaries. Unless the Court orders otherwise, the Independent Administrator will have the same duties and powers as the Executor/Administrator would have had.
At Howes Percival we are able to take on appointments as Independent Administrators. Our team includes STEP and ACTAPs qualified lawyers. Partners Tom Lawrence and Stephen Patch are STEP qualified and have spent their careers advising on the administration of Estates. Partners Michael Green and Jennifer Laskey are both ACTAPs qualified solicitors each with over 20 years’ experience in the law. They have particular experience in the administration of difficult Estates where a dispute has arisen.
Team members are available to be appointed as Independent Administrators and are ably supported by hugely experienced Private Client, Tax Advisory and Agricultural teams at Howes Percival. Our Teams are recognised by the Legal 500.
If you would like us to consider taking on an appointment as Independent Administrator please contact our team at using the form below and we will be happy to have an initial discussion with you.
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