A personal representative has a duty in law to collect the assets of the estate, settle debts and liabilities of the deceased and distribute in accordance with the will, or intestacy rules.

In most cases a deceased’s estate will be administered correctly and distributed. However, mistakes can be made and sometimes the person acting as the Personal Representative or trustee can act in a way which is inappropriate for their role e.g., act in a biased way or putting their own interests before the beneficiaries.  Sometimes delaying the distribution can cause ill feeling or financial difficulties.

These duties are imposed by the Administration of Estates Act 1925 and all Personal Representatives must act in accordance with these laws when fulfilling their roles and administering the estate.

If you feel that a personal representative or trustee has not carried out their duties correctly or in a timely manner, then you may be able to take legal action to compel them to administer the estate appropriately or, if necessary, to remove them.

What can be done to remedy these issues?

  1. To remove, substitute or appoint an executor or personal representative.
  2. Claims against any party who mishandles estate accounts.
  3. Claims of breach of trust for breaching their duty of care.
  4. Failing to administer the estate properly.
  5. Urgent steps to prevent or compel the executors to administer the estate.
  6. Apply to court for trustees to provide full disclosure and account for their actions.

If you feel aggrieved by the conduct of a personal representative and wish to seek legal advice or take action to intervene, then call us on 0808 166 8834 to speak to a member of our Contentious Probate team now.

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