Over 15,500 wills in England and Wales failed to appoint an executor, or the executor was unable or unwilling to administer the estate, according to the latest 2011 data from the Probate Service, obtained by people tracing firm Title Research. This is a 5% increase on 2010.
Kevin Cole, Head of Research at Title Research said: "These figures highlight the need for regulation of will-writing. Thousands of people every year end up with poorly drafted wills which do not even name an executor or do not make sufficient provision in their will for a substitute executor if their executor dies or is unwilling to act. It is vitally important for the public to seek professional advice from a reputable well trained practitioner in will writing to avoid these problems arising."
The 2011 Probate Service figures also reveal 19% of probates dealt with by the Probate Service involved estates where the deceased did not leave a will. This is a 4% decrease in intestacies recorded by the Probate Registry compared to 2010.