A party who is appointed under the terms of a deceased will or a party who takes up an appointment to an intestate estate will become responsible for the proper implementation of the terms of the deceased’s will. This position is known as acting as a Personal Representative or ‘PR’.
Once action is taken, particular duties arise that are imposed on the PR. The essential part of this role is to call in the deceased’s assets and discharge their liabilities before then distributing the estate. The PR becomes a trustee of the deceased’s estate and the deceased’s assets will pass to them.
However what can you do if:
- The estate is not being dealt with quickly enough?
- You are a residuary beneficiary and have asked for information from the PR but they refuse?
- The PR is mixing up their own money with the deceased’s?
- Your co executor is making decisions you are meant to make jointly.
There are many examples of day to day issues that PRs face. Many fail to realise that they have a duty to act which is both fiduciary and statutory and that there are limits that apply to what they can or cannot do.
Conflicts of interest also often appear when the deceased appoints a PR that is also a beneficiary. In such cases it is necessary to separate the respective interests and remain unbiased.
Together with our Trusts team we can deal with disputes both for and against personal representatives and trustees. A breach of trust can be complicated and costly. The discreet nature of the relationship of a PR and the fact the party involved may be connected with the deceased can sometimes create difficulties.
We can help you decide how to approach such actions and the best way in which to protect your position and act appropriately in what is a complicated and onerous area.
For more information about estate administration disputes, please contact a member of our specialist team.