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  • Overview

    Unlocking estate administration

    What is Independent Administration?

    It is becoming increasingly common for those involved in dealing with an estate to find themselves in a position where they cannot move forward with estate administration. This can be for a wide variety of reasons, which are often incredibly complex and contentious. In such cases, an application can be made to the Court to appoint an Independent Administrator to help resolve any difficulties and overcome any deadlock.

    How does Independent Administration work?

    When a point has been reached where those involved in the estate – either as executors or beneficiaries – feel that they can go no further with the process, they can apply to the Court to appoint an Independent Administrator.

    This is best used for estates where the parties concerned cannot agree or are contesting the will or where the executors have not acted at all or have acted improperly. By appointing an Independent Administrator, those involved in the estate can focus on resolving their issues, without losing elements of the estate in the meantime.

    At Thomson Snell & Passmore, we have a number of expert probate lawyers who are experienced in Independent Administrator cases, with our Trust Corporation being appointed by the Court as a completely neutral party, whose role is to act for the greater good of the estate, and ensure it can be administered, despite any ongoing issues between the original executors or beneficiaries. The appointment of an Independent Administrator ensures that the estate will be dealt with professionally, independently and efficiently and that any assets will be preserved.

    Working closely with our contentious probate colleagues, and drawing on the skill of our property, tax and corporate and commercial departments as needed, our lawyers have the experience and expertise to deal with even the most complex of cases.

    We will always take a practical and common sense approach, to help resolve cases as quickly and cost effectively as possible, offering peace of mind to all involved in the estate.

    When is Independent Administration required?

    There are a wide range of circumstances where an Independent Administrator may be appointed. These include both contentious and non-contentious situations.

    For example:

    Where there is a will and:

    • The executor is considered unfit or inappropriate to act
    • The executors are in dispute with each other
    • The executor has renounced probate and no one else can be found to act
    • The executor cannot be found
    • The beneficiaries of the will are unhappy with the executor


    Where there is no will and:

    • There are a number of beneficiaries who cannot agree


    Our expert team

    At Thomson Snell & Passmore we have one of the largest Independent Administration teams in the South East. Our lawyers have many years of experience dealing with complex estate administration.  We have the ability to take over and finalise estates where progress has previously stalled.

    As a full service law firm, our Independent Administrator team often works closely with colleagues in our Corporate and Commercial, Commercial Property, Employment, Residential Conveyancing, Tax and Estate Planning, Trust Management and Agricultural and Rural Affairs teams.  Having such a wealth of expertise to call upon, we are able to deal with every aspect of even the most complex estates, to the highest standards.

    Frequently asked questions about Independent Administration

    What is the difference between an Independent Administrator and an Executor?

    An Independent Administrator is a person approved by the court to replace the executors appointed in the will or under the rules of intestacy to administer an estate.

    They will be completely unconnected to the estate and the parties involved and will have no interest in the assets to be dealt with, so will be completely impartial.

    What is the difference between contentious probate and Independent Administration?

    The two often go hand in hand, however they are not the same. Independent Administration is a way for estates to move forward while any contentious probate disputes are resolved. For example where estate assets are at risk, bills connected to the estate need to be paid or rent owing to the estate still needs to be collected. An Independent Administrator can be appointed to handle these issues while the parties involved attempt to resolve their dispute.

    An Independent Administrator can also be appointed in non-contentious situations, such as when the executors cannot be identified or cannot act for any reason.

    Who can ask to appoint an Independent Administrator?

    Anyone with an interest in the estate, such as a beneficiary or executor may as for an Independent Administrator to be appointed, but the court will only agree to their appointment if there is good reason.

    Is appointing an Independent Administrator expensive?

    It is generally much more cost effective in the long run to appoint an Independent Administrator than to continue attempting to administrate an estate which has stalled, especially when there are disputes between the executors or beneficiaries.

    Who can be an Independent Administrator?

    An Independent Administrator will usually be an experienced and specialist probate lawyer with the ability to handle even the most complex of estates. At Thomson Snell & Passmore, our Trust Corporation will be appointed to act, with one of our experienced probate lawyers dealing with the estate administration work.

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    Instructed by the claimant, being one of two sisters in respect of their late father’s estate who had realised that her sister, the defendant, had plundered their father’s modest estate.

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    After the death of their parents, four siblings found themselves unable to agree on how to progress their parents’ estate. 

    Family appoints independent administrator to settle estate

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    Family Saves over £100,000 in Inheritance Tax through National Heritage Scheme

    Following the death of their father, a family faced a large inheritance tax bill and the prospect of having to sell the family home to settle it.  They also did not know what to do with their parents’ personal belongings, such as their artwork, furniture and jewellery.

    Warring siblings

    One child of three children was appointed by their late father under their will to act as executor and obtained a grant of representation to deal with the estate.

  • Latest Updates

Newsletter sign up

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We respect your privacy and want news to be relevant. To either, click here or update your preferences by emailing us at info@ts-p.co.uk. Your personal data shall be treated in accordance with our & .

Get In Touch

By submitting an enquiry through 'get in touch' your data will only be used to contact you regarding your enquiry. If you would like to receive newsletters from Thomson Snell & Passmore please use the separate form below.

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