Recent High Court figures show claims for mishandling a deceased’s estate have risen dramatically (from 107 in 2012 to 368 in 2013), highlighting the importance of administering an estate correctly or suffering the consequences (being sued) if you get it wrong.
When appointed executor of someone’s estate, personal feelings have to be put aside and the estate administered in accordance with the Will of the person who has died. If no Will was made and a person died ‘intestate’ then the law dictates who is entitled to the assets of the deceased, depending on various factors.
It can often be very difficult for family members who act as executors to detach themselves from personal matters and sometimes they can make errors, either accidentally or deliberately, when administering a loved one’s estate.
It can be a lengthy and sometimes complex process to administer an estate yourself, not least because other commitments simply ‘get in the way’. As specialists in probate administration, we often come across families that believe they are saving money by administering an estate themselves. But money that a family thinks they might save, against the risk of being personally sued, can be no saving at all.
When there is a Will in existence, once a grant of probate has been issued that Will becomes a public document. It is important to note that if a beneficiary has not received what they were due, for whatever reason, (and there was enough in the estate to pay them) they would have a rightful claim for that money from the executors.
If you have recently lost a loved one and have been appointed as an executor, please contact us for an initial chat and see how we might be able to help you through this process.