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Solicitor/executor of will has sold practice and retired

(6 Posts)
whataboutbob Fri 20-Jan-17 19:49:14

Dear all- I am looking for some advice. My father has died and on his will (dated 2003) he names me and a solicitor who on a google search appears to have retired and the practice seems no longer to exist. It is (used to be ) in Dad's home town. My preference would be to be sole executor and avoid legal fees. Do I need to find this person and get him to renounce being an executor, or would it be enough to prove that he has retired?
Also, do I need to prove there is not a more recent will and if so how do I got about it? many thanks for your advice.

Churchillian Fri 20-Jan-17 21:05:06

I had this with an executor of a relatives will - solicitors clerk who had retired and firm merged with another. I had to provide evidence that I had tried to trace him - and failed to the probate court so that I could become the executor instead and get probate granted. I contacted the legal firm that the original one had merged with, looked at the electoral roll/address records online to see if he was at the same address, contacted the local registery office to see if a death had been registered in his name and wrote a letter to all of the people with his name on the electoral roll. I didn't manage to track him down - he had moved away from the address on the will about 15 years before. The probate court were happy with my efforts and appointed me executor. I used a solicitor to help me with the process in terms of the correct paperwork for the probate court and submitting it, but I did the legwork. It cost a couple of thousand pounds - it was about 5 years ago - and took about 4 months - though I was heavily pregnant and moved house and job during that period so I didn't do it the search very quickly. Luckily I found the other missing executor through a simple google search!

whataboutbob Fri 20-Jan-17 21:49:24

Wow churchill you were thorough! It seems to me the solicitor is/ was a member of Dad's church so I could go to them if I can't find him any other way. Somehow going to dad's church feels a little personal and exposing. Thank you for all the advice. I think the firm also merged with another but my "google trail" has gone cold.

sunnyhills Sun 22-Jan-17 14:14:45

I've heard that the probate office are helpful .I wonder if it would be worth phoning and asking for advice ?

Condolences about your dad .

Cleo22 Mon 23-Jan-17 16:36:35

The Law Society were very helpful in tracing a solicitor

Downstairspoo Tue 24-Jan-17 04:43:13

Could you contact the church for a message to be passed on for the executor to phone you? It's perfectly acceptable to get in touch with him however you can though as you need to do so as he's executor - and as he's a retired solicitor he'll understand that.
Hopefully he'll be happy to renounce the appointment as now retired.

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