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No or improper Estate Administration


This includes a situation where a Grant of Probate (or Letters of Administration where there is no will) have not been obtained within a reasonable period of time after the death, which of course is necessary before the estate can be properly administered (ie the assets sold and/or distributed).

Alternatively the estate or assets of the deceased have not been properly managed or distributed after death. Usually, the person or persons entrusted with this task by the deceased are called Personal Representatives or Executors. Actions against them can include:

  • claims for “breach of trust”;
  • proceedings to remove them;
  • proceedings to force them to provide a full inventory and account of the deceased’s assets
Case Study - This is an actual will claim we have successfully concluded for a client

This is a fairly typical scenario. The Executors were not members of a family (to whom the bulk of the estate were left) but so called independent professionals. As such the dynamics of the family were unknown. A dispute arose between one of the beneficiaries and the professional executors. This culminated before our involvement in proceedings by the beneficiary against the executor which were dismissed with costs. We were brought in by the disappointed beneficiary who feared that the executors balance was affected by those proceedings.

 

This is not then a will claim or will contest per se. Rather a claim against the executors. It is not a standard will dispute but is very common nonetheless.

 

Our involvement included liaising between the beneficiary and the executors and establishing the real value of her claim. The provision of proper accounts by executors is an enforceable right which we insisted was provided in this instance. We were able to establish from this and from other papers provided by our client that her entitlement to expenses from the estate and other things had been underplayed by the executors, thus increasing her share.


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