Do all executors need to attend the probate meeting?

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billscouser | 13:44 Sat 17th Jul 2010 | Civil
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My mother died recently leaving the bulk of her estate to her four children, two of whom she named as executors. My brother has cancelled two probate meetings supposedly because of his ill-health. My sister, the other executor has stated that both of them must attend. My brother-in-law was a joint executor on his mother's will but states that when he was unable to attend the probate meeting his brother, the co-executor was allowed to attend on his own. Can anyone clarify. Also is there any charge for non-attendance at a probate meeting.


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To the best of my knowledge, Her Majesty's courts Service has not yet introduced any penalties for non-attendance at a probate interview.

Probate interviews are usually very quick and simple. It involves little more than swearing an oath (or, for atheists like me, 'affirming'). You're in and out of the door in a very short time.

However the point of the interview is to check that the grant of representation (i.e. the right to distribute the estate of the deceased person) is given to the right people. That can't be done if one of the executors named in the will isn't present (unless that person appoints an attorney, using the appropriate official form, to act on his behalf).

If your brother's ill health is deterring him from carrying out his duties as executor (rather than from simply attending the interview) it would be simplest for everyone if he renounced his right to take out a grant of probate. That just involves filling out a simple form. Your local probate office might be able to supply the form, otherwise you can buy one (for about £4 plus postage) from Oyez legal stationers. Phone 0845 217 7565.

Given the brother is failing to attend, I would suggest that your sister serves notice on him of intention to apply for probate. Thereafter she can extract the Grant on her own "with power reserved" to your brother. Thus Probate can be granted and the estate administered without needing to wait for your brother to recover.

If it is intended that both take out the Grant, they can attend the probate interview separately. As it is they need to swear separate oaths (which is the point of the probate interview).
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Thank you both so much for your help.

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