Solicitor acting as executor in an estate
21 February 2020
Just a quick reminder on acting as executor on estates.
As you will be aware, it is possible to have the firm be appointed as an executor of a client’s will, but no partner (nor the principal in sole practitioner offices) should witness the will. The will should be witnessed by employed solicitors/secretaries etc, otherwise payment to the firm will be treated as payment to a beneficiary who witnessed the will. Its also good practice to have a charging clause.
Also, if the firm is acting as an executor in the probate, the funds in the estate are a controlled trust and must be held in a separate bank account, not the client account, known as a controlled trust account. This is something your own reporting accountant should be alive to and it is certainly something that comes up in Law Society inspections.