Common disputes we help with include
- disputes between executors
- co and single trustee disputes
- beneficiary disputes
- the removal of an executor.
Friends and family often take on the role of executor in a Will (the person who administers it) which can be very rewarding, but if not done correctly, can be a stressful experience.
If you agree to be an executor, there are rules and good practice which need to be followed. The number of claims against executors ‘getting it wrong’ has more than tripled in recent years so it is important to seek professional legal advice to make sure you avoid the common pitfalls such as
- overlooking insurance needs and leaving property uninsured that then suffers loss of value, for example due to water damage from a burst pipe
- not giving the distribution to the beneficiary soon enough or at all
- giving the property to the wrong beneficiary or paying a debt from the estate that was not correctly owing and due
- paying out too much to one beneficiary to the detriment of another
- improperly converting assets for their own use.
With it being such a complicated procedure, and the fact that executors and trustees can be held personally responsible for any losses of the estate, you should always get professional help.
Removing an executor
A beneficiary may be unhappy about the way in which an executor or trustee has been behaving and in addition to considering a claim for losses to the estate may want to replace them with someone else. They may go voluntarily but if not then the court does have the power to remove executors or trustees. The overriding consideration for the court is whether the trusts are being properly executed and the main guide must be the welfare of the beneficiaries.
Please contact us today to discuss your situation.