Is the appointment of a minor executor valid?

My client wishes to appoint his wife and son as executors to his will. The son is currently aged 16 years. Is the appointment of a minor executor valid? If so, what are the implications if the will has to be proved during the minority?

Whilst a minor can be appointed as an executor in a will, pursuant to s118 of the Senior Courts Act 1981, a minor cannot act as an executor and is not entitled to apply for probate until attaining 18 years.

Rule 33(1) of the Non-Contentious Probate Rules 1987 requires that where a minor is appointed executor jointly with one or more other executors, probate may be granted to the adult executors with power reserved to the minor executor and the minor executor shall be entitled to apply for probate on attaining 18 years.

If the minor is also a beneficiary or a life interest arises under the will, pursuant to s114(4) of the act, an additional personal representative may need to be appointed by the court.

In light of this, your client may wish to appoint an additional adult executor.

Disclaimer

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.

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