When a family member or loved one dies, it can be an emotionally difficult period. When the distribution of the estate and will becomes contentious, this can make matters significantly worse and can add stress to the feelings of grief. There are several grounds for contesting a will, including issues arising with the executor that the deceased may have appointed. When these disputes occur, our litigation solicitors in Streatham Hill are here to help.
Our experienced solicitors can implement effective alternative dispute resolution to help you achieve the outcome you’re looking for. Whether you’re an interested party seeking to stop a grant of probate from being issued or you’re an executor looking to stop other parties from bringing a claim; we’re here to assist in any contentious probate dispute.
What are Beneficiaries and Executors?
A beneficiary of a will is anyone who is set to gain something from the distribution of the deceased person’s estate. They are either named in the will or have met the criteria that makes them eligible. If you have not been named in the will, but believe you are entitled to some inheritance; you could make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
An executor is a person named in a will who handles the distribution of the estate, as chosen by the deceased. There can be more than one executor, but no more than four. The executor is also responsible for paying any outstanding debts out of the estate. Sometimes, matters between the beneficiaries, the executor or any other relevant party can arise. This can lead to a delay in the distribution of the will. Our will dispute solicitors in Streatham can help you analyse your case and gather all the evidence needed to secure a successful claim.
An executor has a legal duty to carry out the distribution of the estate in a way that the deceased intended. If they fail to do this, they can be removed and possibly held accountable for any losses. Examples of executors not acting lawfully include:
- failing to distribute the estate according to the wishes of the deceased
- causing unnecessary delays
- selling any property for less than its market value
- behaving dishonestly
- giving money or an asset to anyone not mentioned in the will or who has not won a claim that shows that they are so entitled
If you believe an executor to be acting unlawfully, you can approach a civil litigation solicitor for legal advice. Our solicitors here in Streatham can assess your claim and point you in the right direction; with the intention to avoid court proceedings wherever possible.
How to Remove an Executor
If you wish to remove an executor, you need to make an application to the courts if negotiations fall through, and you must have valid reasons and evidence for doing so. These could include financial misconduct, mismanagement of the estate and act for personal gain.
Solicitors in Streatham
If you suspect misconduct, you can write to the executor and ask for an outline of the estate administration. This can give you details concerning the executor’s actions and why they’ve taken place. You can raise your concerns with the executor directly, and you can approach a probate disputes solicitor for further advice. If you would like a free consultation from our solicitors in Streatham, you can either fill out our online form or give us a call on 0208 769 6739.