No Executors Named in Will

When No Executors Named in Will.

I was a bit surprised to get this question, but on speaking to colleagues it turns out that it is quite common with home-made Wills for no executors to be named!

The Will is valid, despite having no executors names in it.

If the deceased left a will, but there are no executors named or (if named) willing or able to administer the estate, someone else must step forward. This could be because:

  • There are no executors named in the will.
  • There are executors named in the will but, because the will is badly written, their appointment is not valid.
  • The executors died before the deceased.
  • The executors renounced.
  • The executors are incapable of managing their affairs.

There is an order of who can apply. After executors, the first person entitled to administer the estate is an attorney appointed by an executor to apply for the grant on his or her behalf. In the absence of such an attorney, next in line are the residuary beneficiaries of the will.

So what are “residuary beneficiaries”? After people who are left gifts of items or money – “Legacies” the residuary beneficiaries are those who receive or share the rest of the estate.  It is usually intended that they receive the bulk of the estate, but as the legacies are paid out first, this does not always turn out to be the case.

So a Will with no executors is not necessarily a disaster. But such a basic mistake may mean there are other problems.  Call us!