Losing a loved one is deeply upsetting and the grieving process can be even harder if you think that their estate is being mismanaged. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to ensure the executor of the Will is performing their role properly.
Contact our specialist team today for guidance on your particular situation.
The executor of a Will has a range of responsibilities, including:
- Collating the deceased’s property;
- Valuing the estate;
- Settling any debts;
- Calculating and paying Inheritance Tax;
- Distributing the deceased’s assets in line with the Will.
The executor is duty bound to complete these tasks. They must, at all times, act in the best interests of the estate. For instance, they should not sell any property for less than its market value.
If you believe that an executor is not fulfilling their duties, you can launch a claim against them. Circumstances in which you may choose to make a claim include where:
- The beneficiaries have not been given a full account of the estate;
- The beneficiaries have been paid before all debts have been settled;
- There is undue delay in the administration of the estate and payment of the beneficiaries;
- Inheritance Tax has been overpaid and not recovered or has been underpaid and penalties have been incurred;
- The deceased’s property has been sold below market value;
- The executor has taken ownership of assets for themselves.
If the estate has lost value due to the executor’s actions, a court may order the executor to make good any losses personally. If the executor has profited from an abuse of their position, they are personally liable to the estate for those profits.
Beneficiaries, co-executors or a third party with an interest in the estate, such as a creditor, can make a claim against an executor or apply to have them removed.
A court will usually remove an executor if one of the following claims is proved:
- They have made serious failings in the course of their administration of the estate, for instance by not keeping accounting records or by stealing assets;
- Since they were appointed, they have been convicted of a criminal offence;
- They have a conflict of interest;
- They are mentally or physically incapable of performing their duties.
If you believe that an executor of your loved one’s Will is failing to perform their role adequately, Solomons Solicitors is here to offer help and advice. We listen to your concerns and support you in rectifying the situation swiftly.