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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My father in law passed away leaving a will naming his 2 children

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My father in law passed away leaving a will naming his 2 children as equal beneficiaries of his estate, One bank account. The executor named in the will dated 1987 has left the country and as far as we are aware passed away. Is it possible for one of the children named as a beneficiaries to apply for grant of probate without having proof of death of the executor, or any feed back from him? If so how? If not how do you proceed?

Thomas McJD :

Hi [USERNAME], I'm Thomas and will be happy to assist you. My goal is to make you a very satisfied customer! Thanks in advance for your patience.

Thomas McJD :

What state are you in? Thanks.


Hi I live in Botswana I'm Christine

Thomas McJD :

I will be unable to assist you. Please wait while I see if there is a South Africa attorney available. You posted this in the United States category. Thanks.


sorry., the estate is UK based

Thanks for your question. Please kindly RATE my answer when you are satisfied

  1. For the avoidance of doubt this is a UK estate you are seeking to administer please?
  2. Are your father in law's children still alive?
  3. If so do either of them live in the UK?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



1) Yes, this is a UK estate. The bank account is in UK. The deceased was a British citizen, ex soldier who lived and died abroad.


2) All children are still alive


3) The son, who wishes to administer the estate, lives in Botswana and the daughter lives in Australia.

Thank you. Do you know the approximate amount in the bank account(s)?
Is the bank account the only UK asset?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes the bank account is the only aset The approximate value is GBP 76 000

Thanks for the above. It is not necessary to have a death certificate for the executor if he cannot be traced.

If the executor cannot be traced then the next person entitled to take administration of the estate (this will either be a substitute executor named in the will or alternatively the next closest relative(s) to your father in law) can issue a citation requesting that the executor named in the will appears before the court to accept his role as executor. If he fails to answer the citation within a specific time then the substitute executor named n the will or the next closest relative as above can apply for probate in his place.

A citation can be made under the Non Contentious Probate Rules rule 47.1.

The son and daughter will need to appoint a solicitor to assist them with the application for citation (which is not difficult as such but is technical) an because of their residency status they will need to appoint a solicitor to assist them with administering the estate. The fees should not be significant if the executor does not answer the citation. I would have though you might expect to pay anything from £750 (good) - £2000 (probably veering on the expensive side) + VAT for a solicitor to act in the above.

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for this.


The closest relative to the deceased are the surviving children. Will it be acceptable to propose one of the children as executors?


Can you recommend a solicitor to assist us?


Thank you

Ye one can act without the other if the other is willing for this to happen. The other can if they wish reserve power which means that they do not take a lead role but are able to step in to act alongside the primary executor at any time if they so wish.

Most solicitors which have a private client department can assist. You may wish to avoid London firms simply because you will tend to find their fees higher. There are almost an endless number to choose from.

You could try

However you would do well to perhaps contact three different firms to obtain cost estimates before making a decision. You would be looking for "Private Client Probate solicitors"

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No further questions. Thank you so much for all your help.


Best regards


A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though.
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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