What do I do if my Executors, Trustee or Attorney dies or gets dementia?

It is not uncommon to find that a client outlives their solicitor, or discovers that their solicitor has retired. For many people without a family, or with a split family the question of what to do when your executor, trustee or attorney disappears is fast becoming a common question.

Generally speaking replacing an Executor or Trustee who has died or wants to retire is not too difficult, however replacing a Trustee who has got dementia can be more of an issue which, in the worst case scenario could lead to court intervention and appointing a replacement. Both a slow and costly experience.

Article: Removing an Executor from Post

Replacing an Attorney can be even more of a problem, especially if the Donor (the person who appoints the Attorney) has also lost the capacity. If the Original power of attorney includes the appointment of a Replacement Attorney then this may not be a problem however those with a ‘limited’ family may struggle to find any attorney let alone a Replacement Attorney.

As a firm we have now introduced a Trust Corporation which can undertake the functions of Executor, Trustee, and Attorney (and for good measure Court of Protection Deputy).

Herrington Carmichael Trust Corporation Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Herrington Carmichael LLP. It is a limited company, which on behalf of the partners of Herrington Carmichael can take on these roles.

The great benefit of a Trust Corporation is that as a Limited Company it has a continuing existence which is separate to the firm, and more importantly, from the individual members of the firm. This means that once the Trust Corporation is appointed as Executor, Trustee or Attorney there will always be someone who fulfils the role completely independently of any individual in the business. This means that there will never be a need to replace a Trustee or the worry that your Attorney has dementia.

The increasingly prevalent issue of clients outliving their Trustees or Attorneys has given us the push to create this Trust Corporation! With that being said it remains that whenever the Trust Corporation takes on a role, the fee earner or partner with whom you have dealt with our law firm will still remain your main contact….however the main difference is that when the that partner retires, goes on holiday or is ill we will still have people able to undertake things on your behalf.

For all at Herrington Carmichael this is an exciting development and one we believe is an important addition to our services. It will add nothing to our charges but may well save clients the costs and disruption of finding replacements.

For more details on the responsibilities of a trustee of how to appoint Herrington Carmichael Trust Corporation Limited to be your Executor, Trustee or Attorney contact Anthony Tahourdin at 01276 854 947 or any other member of the Private Clients’ Team.

This reflects the law at the date of publication and is written as a general guide. It does not contain definitive legal advice, which should be sought as appropriate in relation to a particular matter. 








Graeme Black
Partner, Private Wealth & Inheritance
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This reflects the law and market position at the date of publication and is written as a general guide. It does not contain definitive legal advice, which should be sought in relation to a specific matter.

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