We act for three executors of an estate (a lay executor and two partners of this firm). A Grant of Probate has been obtained and since then the lay executor has died. We have been provided with an original death certificate for him.
We are in the process of selling the deceased’s property and a sale has been agreed.
My colleagues here thought that the surviving executors would be able to execute the transfer deed on their own. However the conveyancer acting for the buyer is asking for a Grant of Probate for the deceased executor’s estate and saying that the transfer deed needs to be executed by the executor of his estate. Is this correct, and if so is there is a legal authority confirming this?
I’ve had this happen with a client recently - if a sole executor dies between probate being granted and the estate being distributed, then the process you described would be actioned. This is to do with the Chain of Representation and the Non-Contentious Probate Rules.
However if there is more than one named executor and only one passes away, the remaining executor(s) will continue their duties. But they may just need to show the death certificate of the deceased executor to companies before they can access any funds.
I have occasionally come across this situation but only in estates where there were quoted securities. I provided the Grant of Probate to the relevant registrars with the death certificate of the deceased Executor. This documentation was accepted in the two estates where I experienced the situation.
Registrars who deal regularly with matters of Probate practice will undoubtedly be more experienced than a conveyancer who may have no knowledge of Probate practice. As a practical solution, why don’t you suggest to the conveyancer that he/she asks the Land Registry for guidance?
Is the position here not dealt with by s8 of AEA 1925. The surviving executors can carry on and a grant to the deceased executor’s estate is not necessary.
I would suggest that the two remaining Executors, having produced evidence of the demise of their co-executor, would have sufficient capacity as surviving Trustees of the deceased’s Estate to be able to provide an adequate receipt for the sale proceeds on completion taking place[that being the beneficial interest] and to transfer the legal Estate in the registered title to the new owner without any Grant of Representation to their deceased co-executor’s estate being needed