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Buachaill, Lawyer
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 8801
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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My late ex-husbands sister is executrix of his will. He has

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My late ex-husband's sister is executrix of his will. He has been dead almost eight months now and there has been no effort by the executrix to take out probate. She is 86 years of age and in poor health and when I telephoned her last week she seemed to be giving contradictory statements about what she knew about the will. She claims she has not had sight of the will at all to date. I understand that under section 27(4) of the Succession Act, the court may appoint an administrator in place of the executor. I also understand that the court would be reluctant to do this and I fear that were we to go to court, my sister-in-law would be "coached" beforehand by her son in what to say to the court. I fear it would be an expensive exercise for us with little to show for it at the end. Would a citation calling on the executrix to prove or renounce be the better course of action? And what are the risks of doing so? I telephoned the funeral home last week and they told me that the solicitor acting for the estate had already paid the funeral bill. Since he is also acting for the executrix would this constitute intermeddling in the estate and does that mean that the executrix has already agreed to administer the estate having paid the funeral bill irrespective of whether she has formally assented to that role or not? Would that then create problems for us vis-à-vis section 27(4)? The fact that she is elderly and in poor health, would the court accept that argument if she is otherwise of sound mind?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.

1. At this stage a citation calling on the executrix to prove or renounce the will is the best course of action. Given the history involved, and the fact the solicitor has already paid the funeral bill, there is some activity occurring irrespective of what the executrix is telling you. Be aware that in law an executrix has one year, known in law as "the executor's year" within which to administer the will and distribute the assets after which a court will generally assent to their removal as executrix. So an application to remove the executrix or an application to be appointed administrator will not succeed at this stage. It makes no difference that the executrix may be elderly, or have health problems. She will be given her opportunity to do her job as executrix if she so wishes. 2. Secondly, paying a funeral bill from the estate is definitely not "intermeddling". This type of thinking is foolish. 3. I would counsel you to let things take their course. YOu need to realise that until a year has passed, or the executrix has renounced her position, the executrix has the whip hand. You are only torturing yourself in the interim pondering imponderables when the law is against you. Please RATE the Answer positively so that I may get paid

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. You've confirmed much of what I've been thinking.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
Please RATE the Answer positively so that I may get paid
Buachaill, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 8801
Experience: Barrister 17 years experience
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