Applying for the court’s help as an executor or beneficiary of a will

6th June 2015 by

Ben Parr-Ferris, Senior Litigator, Contentious Probate team of Healys, continues his series of articles explaining the different ways in which Wills and Probates are contested. 

Interpretation/Construction of a Will

Most wills are drafted by solicitors who are professionals at preparing these documents.  Occasionally a will is written by an individual, or a mistake is made by the solicitor, and the precise language that is usually used in wills is replaced with doubt and uncertainty over what the will means.

In many cases, everyone knows what was intended and there is no dispute.  In that case it is possible to execute a deed of variation to make the will say what was intended.  Sometimes however there is no agreement and the executors are unable to proceed with the administration of the estate because they do not know what needs to be done.

In these cases, an application can be made to the court to determine what the will means.  Such an application is often accompanied with an application to rectify the will (see here) although that is not always possible.

Application for directions

Even though an executor or personal representative has been appointed to administer an estate, the court always has a power to order how that is to be done.  If a trustee or executor is in a position where he is unable to proceed with the administration or has some other difficulty that cannot be resolved, the court can be asked to make an order saying what needs to be done.

If you require any further information on this topic or the services we offer please contact Ben Parr-Ferris on 020 7822 4104 or email ben.parr-ferris@healys.com.