The Challenges of Acting as Executor
Unfortunately, disputes can arise during the estate administration process. Executors have the responsibility to address and resolve any disputes that may arise. Seeking professional advice, such as consulting solicitors experienced in Estate Disputes, can be crucial in navigating through these challenging situations.
Given the emotionally charged and sensitive nature of Acting as an Executor, situations can at times, arise between family or other beneficiaries where a dispute is made for one of the following reasons:
- Interpretation of the Will: Depending on the specific language or instruction indicated within the Will, disagreements can arise over how the instruction should be interpreted.
- Validity of the will: Disputes may occur if there are challenges to the validity of the Will, such as lack of capacity, undue influence or improper execution of the estate.
- Family Disputes and Inheritance Rights: Family dynamics and expectations around inheritance can lead to disputes, particularly if there are disagreements over the deceased’s intentions or if certain family members believe they have been unfairly treated in the Will.
- Insolvent Estates: Outstanding creditors may make claims against the estate for outstanding debts. Sometimes if the Estate Assets are insufficient to cover the outstanding debts, this can lead to added stress and pressure on the Executries and how the distribution of funds is prioritised and ranked for secured and unsecured creditors, as well as the beneficiaries of the will.
Resolving Estate Disputes
An Estate solicitor will look at the facts of the case, for example the actions of the deceased at the time they made the Will and any other relevant factors that could explain their intentions. This may involve examining the assets that are or should have been included in the estate and contacting creditors.
Resolving a dispute can be a daunting challenge, however working with a solicitor can help minimise the risk of personal disputes derailing the effective and timeous winding up of an estate.