Probate dispute – over how the estate is being distributed
The person or people appointed to distribute the property, land, money and possessions of the person who died are referred to as personal representatives. It can be quite a complicated job and they can be personally liable if they get it wrong. That is why they usually instruct solicitors to act on their behalf. There are 2 types:
- Executor - Where the person who died left a Will then this will usually have appointed executors. The executors are legally liable to ensure proper distribution to the correct people.
- Administrator - If there was no Will, then the Intestacy Rules apply and an Administrator is appointed by the court to apply those rules. The Administrator is usually a close blood relative of the person who died.
Types of probate dispute
If you are due to benefit under the Will or a trust created by the Will or under the Intestacy Rules, then you may have a probate dispute if you are worried that the personal representatives:
- failed to provide adequate information to those due to benefit.
- acted negligently in carrying out their duties.
- have not invested the estate money appropriately.
- are being dishonest
- have acted unreasonably.
- have not acted independently as they have a conflict of interest because they are also due to benefit.
- have over-charged, taking too much money from the Estate for their services, reducing what is left to be distributed to those due to benefit.
If you are due to benefit but are concerned that the people administering the estate are not acting in the estate’s best interests then you should take legal advice quickly. If you feel errors are being made then it is easier to intervene before the inheritance is given to the wrong people.
If they have not acted in the best interests of the estate you may be able to apply to the court to have them removed.
Even if they have distributed the estate, it may not be too late to bring a claim if you have lost out financially. However it may be a more complicated claim against the Executor or Administrator responsible for causing your losses by their negligent administration and distribution.
Our specialist lawyers will aim to ensure that your inheritance is correctly distributed - so that you receive what is rightfully yours.
If you are an executor or administrator facing this type of legal action, you should also take legal advice – our specialist lawyers may be able to help you.
The first step is to call or use our webform to receive Free Initial Assessment from an expert lawyer who will be able to advice in confidence as to whether you have a situation where we can help protect your position.