If you are an executor or trustee and are having difficulties administering an estate or trust due to a disagreement with another executor, trustee or the beneficiary, it is important that you take steps to resolve the issues before they escalate. Our team is on hand to help with this.
As an executor or trustee (person in charge of another’s assets for distribution), you have certain responsibilities. These could be:
- Managing assets
- Paying off debts
- Obtaining a grant of probate
- Distributing assets to the beneficiaries of the will
Deciding how assets should be managed, invested, and protected within a trust.
What issues might need resolving?
Difficulties can arise when administering an estate or trust and it can be a challenging time for both the executor/trustee and beneficiary.
As an executor or trustee some of the issues you may face could be:
- Being unable to agree on the steps to be taken
- The need to remove an appointed co-executor or co-trustee
- One or more beneficiaries may not be cooperating
If you are a beneficiary, you may find that the executor is:
- Taking too long to administer the estate
- Being obstructive and delaying the administration of the estate
- Not obtaining the grant of probate
- Giving the money to the wrong people
- Not showing you the will
As a beneficiary, it can be frustrating to experience a delay in receiving your inheritance. It can also be difficult to obtain information from the executors or trustees. If you are experiencing problems with an executor or trustee, or you are finding they are not acting appropriately, it may be possible to have them removed.
What are the next steps?
It is possible to ask the Court to resolve any issues. The Court will look at the case and consider whether the estate is being appropriately administered or whether the trust is being properly dealt with in the interest of the beneficiaries.
Disputes can be complex, lengthy and costly, not to mention upsetting. You may find it beneficial to try to negotiate by way of a mediator to help resolve any issues prior to taking your estate dispute to Court.
While it can be frustrating to face a claim against you, it is crucial that you obtain legal advice as soon as possible on the steps you can and should take. This is important as you can be held personally responsible for paying legal fees if you do not act appropriately.
How we can help you
Our estate dispute lawyers can:
- Advise you if you are facing a claim that you have acted inappropriately in your role
- Advise you on the steps to be taken to remove a trustee, whether you are a trustee yourself or a beneficiary
- Advise you on the steps to be taken to remove an executor/personal representative, whether you are an executor/personal representative yourself or a beneficiary
- Help you apply to the Court to remove one or more trustees who have acted inappropriately
- Help you apply to the Court to remove one or more executors or personal representatives who have acted inappropriately
- Advise you in relation to any Court proceedings you are facing
- Advise trustees and executors on their roles and duties in a trust or estate administration dispute
- Advising a trustee on a claim to remove a co-trustee
- Advising an executor on options available during a dispute with a co-executor
- Acting on behalf of executor in proceedings to remove co-executor