Estate Administration Disputes
Estate administration involves collecting in assets, paying tax and liabilities and distributing the estate to the beneficiaries.
Disputes can sometimes arise involving executors, beneficiaries and other third parties including:
- Applications to remove or replace personal representatives
- Complaints about the length of time the administration is taking
- Concerns about the costs of the administration
- Disagreement about the terms of the deceased’s Will and the rights of beneficiaries under that Will
- Requests by beneficiaries for an interim distribution of funds
- Requests by beneficiaries for information about the estate, including estate accounts
Disputes can also arise when there is more than one personal representative and they disagree over issues like taking legal advice and the associated costs, pursuing or defending claims involving the estate and potential conflicts of interest.
If beneficiaries or third parties feel they have been unfairly treated in the Will, they may also bring a claim against the estate. Alternatively there may be creditors, such as banks or other lenders, with claims against the estate that the personal representative wants to dispute.
Whatever the nature of the dispute, it needs to be dealt with in the proper manner, with prompt clear communication with beneficiaries and other stakeholders, keeping them updated and informed at every stage.
In some cases, it may be necessary to involve the courts, in which case an application needs to be made promptly, so the issue can be resolved as quickly as possible without undue delay to the administration of the estate.
Contested Wills, Trusts and Estates Partner