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  6. Can a solicitor colleague administer an oath for two lay executors?

Can a solicitor colleague administer an oath for two lay executors?

I am acting in the administration of an estate and represent two lay executors. I have prepared the oath for executors. Can my colleague, who is a solicitor and works in our firm's litigation department, administer the oath?

In such a situation you should consider the following provisions:

1. The SRA Code of Conduct 2011, Chapter 11: Relations with Third Parties, Outcome 11.4 which states:

You properly administer oaths, affirmations, or declarations where you are authorised to do so.

2. s183(3) of the Legal Services Act 2007 which sets out the circumstances where an oath should not be administered:

A relevant authorised person may not carry on the administration of oaths in any proceedings in which that person represents any of the parties or is interested.

'Proceedings' is unlikely to be restricted to only litigation, but may apply to any matter which the Authorised Person is involved in or instructed on (whether directly, or where the firm/organisation she is connected with or employed by, etc. is instructed).

The reality is that an Authorised Person should be a person independent of the parties and the parties' representatives.

The Civil Procedure Rules state that an affidavit must be a person independent of the parties or their representatives (CPR PD 32.9.2). This rule covers not only Authorised Persons but also other persons permitted to administer an oath.

For more information please see the Law Society’s Guide to the Execution of Documents (3rd edition).

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.

Have you got a practice question? Call the Practice Advice Service on 020 7320 5675 or email practiceadvice@lawsociety.org.uk

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