Change of will executor for somebody with dementia

Hi, would be very grateful for any advice people can offer.

My mother has Alzheimer's disease and is currently living in a care home as she can no longer take care of herself. A long time ago while still mentally capable she wrote a will and nominated her nephew and his partner to be the executors. Sadly both her nephew and partner have recently passed away.

Therefore, myself and my siblings (there are four of us) are trying to understand what happens to the will when she dies. The only information I can find online states that she should nominate a new executor, but she doesn't have the mental capability to do that (sadly her Alzheimer's is so bad that she doesn't even realise she's been living in a care home for three years). 

I spoke to the solicitors that hold her will, they will only state that they cannot discuss it. Not even to tell me what the process is when she dies in such a scenario.

She has no spouse, and her house was sold in order to fund her care. We do have a financial LPA in place and so we do have control over her bank accounts etc.

We're not trying to access her will, just trying to find out what the process will be when she does pass away so that we can be as organised as possible at what will no doubt be a stressful time.

Are we able to get a new executor(s) in place, or do we just have to wait and follow the solicitors guidance when she dies and then I assume apply for probate?

Thank you for any advice you can give.


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Comments

  • TonyMMM
    TonyMMM Posts: 3,368
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    edited 19 November 2023 at 1:21PM
    If the nominated executors have died(or are otherwise unable or unwilling to act)  then the will can still stand and be valid but someone else will need apply to administer the estate ..... it isn't a problem you need to do anything about now.

    They will be granted "Administration, with will annexed"

  • Her Will will still stand, but without any named executors able to apply for probate, the beneficiaries would be able to apply for ‘grant of letters of administration with will annexed’:

    https://sintons.co.uk/personal-family-probate/probate-estate-administration/what-grant-letters-administration-will-annexed/
    Polar Pigs live in pigloos.....
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,214
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    I'm always surprised when organisations won't discuss things when it will obviously put someone's mind at ease or at least let them know where else they might look for information.  Presumably the OP explained the current situation to the solicitors.  What rule would they break if they said "if your mom had appointed X & Y as executors and they have now died then the beneficiaries (or someone else?) might apply to administer the estate instead"?   OK - don't just pass over mom's will, don't get specific about "well since you're a beneficiary you could handle everything".  But not being willing to discuss anything makes it sound like they want to be automatically appointed to do the work, possibly at a hefty price.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,438
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    Brie said:
    OK - don't just pass over mom's will, don't get specific about "well since you're a beneficiary you could handle everything".  But not being willing to discuss anything makes it sound like they want to be automatically appointed to do the work, possibly at a hefty price.
    Quite possibly the aim. Find one of the beneficiaries who can be strong armed into appointing them as administrators? 

    I'd suggest the beneficiaries discuss the situation now and agree that two of them will act as administrators if needed. Afterall there may be little or nothing to inherit? Possibly those with the LPA as they know the finances.

    If the time comes it may be wise for the beneficiaries to jointly send a letter telling the solicitors to whom they should send the will. And be ready to start a complaint if it isn't forthcoming within 4-6 weeks?
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 9,920
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    edited 19 November 2023 at 4:18PM
    Jochi85 said:


    I spoke to the solicitors that hold her will, they will only state that they cannot discuss it. Not even to tell me what the process is when she dies in such a scenario.



    That's not as unreasonable a stance as it sounds. Coming up with all these theories about an ulterior motive is pretty silly and likely to be well wide of the mark. You aren't a client and they can't give advice to a non-client - even 'just' explaining the process; doing so constitutes 'advice' - added to which, why should they give free advice when there are plenty of sources of such generic information? Not to mention it's entirely possible that there could have been a later will while she still had capacity...they certainly aren't going to tell you that.

    Posting here, or asking somewhere like Citizens Advice (or just plain googling) would provide exactly what you need.
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • Lorian
    Lorian Posts: 5,674
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    edited 19 November 2023 at 5:21PM
    The solicitors holding the will see her as their client and will no more discuss her details with you as they would with me.

    Ask them if they can give you some free advice on a general issue where a 3rd party's will has no executors able to act and the might just give you some advice. (Others here have already of course) 

    The other thing is you are I guess presuming that's her last will and it's possible she's lodged a new one or changes over time.

    Sorry just realised I've basically said what Marcon said 
  • Thank you all for the replies, I guess we'll just sit tight then.

    I'm still a bit miffed at being 'shut out' by the solicitors (we used the same ones for the house conveyancing when selling my mother's house, so we're not complete strangers to them) but we'll see what happens when the time comes. We were told what was being put in the will and are 99% sure it hasn't been updated since, so not expecting any surprises. We were just trying to save some hassle at what won't be a pleasant time.

    Thanks again.
  • msb1234
    msb1234 Posts: 505
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    Brie said:
    I'm always surprised when organisations won't discuss things when it will obviously put someone's mind at ease or at least let them know where else they might look for information.  Presumably the OP explained the current situation to the solicitors.  What rule would they break if they said "if your mom had appointed X & Y as executors and they have now died then the beneficiaries (or someone else?) might apply to administer the estate instead"?   OK - don't just pass over mom's will, don't get specific about "well since you're a beneficiary you could handle everything".  But not being willing to discuss anything makes it sound like they want to be automatically appointed to do the work, possibly at a hefty price.
    My mum and her husband had wills stored at the same solicitors. I have copies of both and am the executor of both. When my mum died, I collected her will from their offices upon proof of my identity plus death certificate. I asked if I could have her husband’s will too as i was executor. They would not discuss it with me except to confirm they had the original, and that it matched the copy I showed them! They said that until he died, they could only act on his instructions - even though hes in a care home with dementia.
  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 9,920
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    Jochi85 said:


    I'm still a bit miffed at being 'shut out' by the solicitors (we used the same ones for the house conveyancing when selling my mother's house, so we're not complete strangers to them) but we'll see what happens when the time comes. 
    Think about it from their viewpoint: they are bound by a huge number of the rules of their profession, including client confidentiality. You used them for conveyancing, but how would you feel if they then answered questions about that to someone else, simply because that someone else is not a 'complete stranger'?

    Perhaps recognising that they get full marks for being able to maintain the requirement of client confidentiality might make you feel a bit less miffed?
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • lr1277
    lr1277 Posts: 1,613
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    Is it worth for the OP to get a copy of the death certificates of the two named executors?
    Then they can prove to whoever needs to know the named executors have died? If they do it now, it is one less thing to think about after their mother's passing.
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