A testator is entitled to appoint whoever they wish to act as the executor and trustee of their Estate. Usually, the testator will appoint the same person to be both the executor and trustee; typically a family member, close friend or solicitor.
There is not much that can be done to stop an executor from undertaking their appointed role in accordance with the Will and applying for Probate. An executor usually cannot be compelled to renounce their position as executor.
An executor’s appointment may be revoked in some situations. For example, a Will is revoked in its entirety by marriage unless it is proved that the testator signed the Will in contemplation of the marriage and intended that it remain valid after that event.
Divorce, however, will not invalidate the entire Will but only any references to the testator’s former spouse. The law treats the former spouse as if he/she had predeceased the testator at the time that they were legally divorced. This means that the former spouse will not be permitted to act as executor even if the testator did not change his/her Will after the divorce. In this situation, the second appointed executor in the Will, if there is one, or the next of kin will be entitled to apply for probate.