We acted on behalf of the executors of the deceased’s estate. The deceased made two Wills in the two years prior to his death. The last Will being made shortly before death. During the administration of the estate per a grant issued in relation to the last Will a validity challenge was advanced by two nephews of the deceased.
The executors had to be cautious not to proceed to distribute the estate until such time as the nephews’ claim was withdrawn or a claim was issued and the dispute resolved. The nephews switched legal representatives a number of times but failed to take any substantive steps either to pursue a probate action or withdraw the claim – they dragged matters out but neither got on or got out of the way. The executors faced pressure from the residuary beneficiaries to distribute the estate, but were effectively caught in the middle between the parties.
A firm stance was communicated to the nephews that it was not acceptable to leave the estate in deadlock with no action underway to resolve the deadlock. Ultimately deadlock was broken after the threat of pursuit by the executors of a Cobden-Ramsey court order to permit the executors to distribute the estate. Through engagement with the claimant nephews and residuary beneficiaries, we were able to break the deadlock and allow the executors to proceed with the administration of the estate. The executors were able to protect their position against any future claim that they be required to personally reconstitute the estate after distribution.
Matter value: Estate £500,000