Executor / Trustee Negligence Solicitors
Executors and trustees are both primarily positions of trust. By definition, anyone acting in the capacity of an executor or trustee has been trusted by the deceased to manage their estate with care, respect and attention to detail, in accordance with their will. Equally, the beneficiaries must be able to rely on executors and trustees to carry out the wishes of the deceased, and properly observe the rights of the beneficiaries themselves.
Of course, that means this trust comes with a significant level of responsibility, and executors and trustees, therefore, have to bear personal liability for any errors or inconsistencies that may be discovered in legal documentation or paperwork, meeting any losses out of their own pocket (whether the errors were the result of an innocent mistake or not). Claims of executor negligence or trustee negligence may arise from beneficiaries’ concerns over lengthy delays, noticeable abnormalities in legal documents, or perceived inaction by executors or trustees over suspicious transactions which may have taken place during the management of the estate.
In some cases, there may even be concerns that an executor has taken money from the estate for themselves. If sufficient proof emerges to support this, it may be possible to make an application for their removal as an executor or trustee (which will normally be followed by an independent professional like a solicitor being appointed in their place).
If you have reason to believe that an executor or trustee has breached their duty of care, made a serious error, or otherwise acted in an inappropriate or illegal way, that’s exactly where our expert negligence solicitors can help here at Farleys.
Fill in our contact form below, or give us a call on 0330 828 3987 to speak to one of our friendly solicitors today.
How we can help
We focus on providing tailored advice aimed at quickly and efficiently resolving executor or trustee disputes, giving you peace of mind that the deceased’s estate is being managed according to their wishes, and their legacy is being appropriately honoured. We recognise that by their nature, these disputes can often be highly sensitive, and emotions can run high. Accordingly, we make sure to maintain a personable, friendly approach, giving you clear and straightforward advice that’s free from unnecessary jargon.
Cases that involve claims against executors – or claims against trustees – are also frequently lengthy and complex, but you can always count on our solicitors to be with you every step of the way.
Private or Family Executor / Trustee Disputes
We recognise that it can be exceptionally taxing (both mentally and emotionally) for anyone dealing with an executor or trustee dispute within their own family, or a close circle of friends, especially since the relationships between those involved can often be complex, potentially spanning a significant number of years. In these situations, our negligence solicitors will always take the time to first learn as much as they can about your circumstances, and the dispositions and goals of the key people involved,
With this information, we’ll then be able to provide considered, tailored advice aimed at helping you to resolve the situation tactfully and efficiently – whether you’re looking to conclude a will dispute, replace an executor or trustee, or receive compensation from a financial loss that you’ve sustained due to someone else’s negligence.
Commercial Executor / Trustee Disputes
Coping with the death of someone connected to a business can be a stressful experience in its own way, often requiring you to balance your grief with all the normal day-to-day demands of running the business. These dual pressures can enact a significant mental and emotional toll, which is the main reason why executors and trustees play such a vital role in managing the estate. If they fail to carry out this role to the expected standard, not only can it result in personal stress for those close to the deceased, but it also has the potential to affect the businesses’ operations, too.
If you or your company is placed in a position where it becomes necessary to remove an executor or trustee of a will – or claim for losses you might have sustained following their negligence – that’s where our solicitors can help. We understand how complex these cases can be, and draw on a wealth of expertise and practical experience to help you resolve them in a way that minimises any stress on you or your business.
Contact a Specialist in Executor / Trustee Negligence Claims
Wherever possible, Farleys will pursue your claim on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. Like any other type of legal case, executor negligence cases can often be stressful to navigate, especially since they have the potential to deeply affect family relationships. That’s why you can always count on our solicitors here at Farleys to handle your case in a sensitive, efficient way. Our service is distinguished by a friendly, personable approach that’s free from unnecessary legal jargon – making it easy for you to get all the key information you need to make informed decisions about your case.
For free initial advice on pursuing an executor negligence claim, feel free to get in touch with our solicitors today on 0330 828 3987, or contact us by email to arrange an appointment.
Can I claim against an executor?
You can make a claim against an executor if you have good reason to believe that they are failing in their duty of care to the deceased’s estate, whether deliberately or otherwise.
An executor is appointed in the will to administer the estate according to the wishes of the deceased, and so that duty of care is regarded as a concrete legal obligation. However, it can be breached in a variety of ways.
You therefore might consider making a claim against the executor of an estate if you know or suspect that the executor has:
- Sold the deceased’s property at a reduced value
- Distributed assets to someone who isn’t a named beneficiary in the will
- Failed to properly deal with tax liabilities from the estate
- Delayed administration and payment to the beneficiaries
- Failed to properly settle the debts of the deceased, especially if some beneficiaries have already begun to be paid
- Not given a thorough account of the deceased’s estate to beneficiaries
- Failed to properly gather or distribute assets according to the terms of the will
- Caused the estate to lose value
It’s worth noting that if any action of the executor has indeed caused the estate to lose value, even partially, then a court may order them to personally account for the losses.
Can I remove an executor?
This is a more drastic course of action, but you can apply to remove an executor if you are a named beneficiary of the will, or a co-executor. Sometimes, an application may be submitted by a third party with an interest in the estate, such as a creditor.
Your application will then be carefully considered by a court, which may choose to remove the executor if any of the following can be proven:
- They have failed to administer the estate correctly, in accordance with the wishes of the deceased
- They have a conflict of interest
- They have a physical or mental impairment that prevents them from properly carrying out their duties
- There’s evidence of serious misconduct (such as stealing from the estate, failing to keep accounting records, or mismanaging the estate)
- They’ve recently been convicted of a criminal offence (and possibly been imprisoned)
It’s also worth knowing that the executor can voluntarily relinquish their position if they choose to. However, they must do this before the Grant of Representation has been issued. They cannot give up the position once they have begun dealings with the estate.
What common breaches of care are there?
As touched on above, executors have a duty of care to the deceased’s estate. Some of the most common breaches of care we often see here at Farleys include:
- Failure to properly manage or administer the estate, in accordance with the terms of a will or intestacy rules
- Giving assets to the wrong person (someone who is not a named beneficiary)
- Causing tangible loss to an estate or trust
- Dishonesty and/or concealing of assets
- Reckless or wilful wasting of assets
This is just a sample and not an exhaustive list. If an executor is found to have engaged in any of the misconduct above, these may well end up serving as grounds to remove them from their post in potential legal proceedings.
Why choose Farleys Solicitors?
Farleys Solicitors is a friendly, trusted, and straight-talking firm with over 60 years of experience in serving clients all over the North West and nationwide. Our solicitors draw upon a wealth of knowledge and industry-specific expertise in order to answer all of your most pressing questions regarding professional negligence.
At Farleys Solicitors, we know that every situation is unique. That’s why, in addition to advising you on the best course of action, we also tailor our services to meet your specific needs. We may even choose to take your case on a no-win, no-fee basis.
If you need to speak with one of our specialist professional negligence solicitors about any of our services, feel free to give us a call on 0330 828 3987, contact us using the online chat feature on our website, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help!