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Challenging trustees or executors of a will

Friday, 31 October 2014

Following the death of a loved one, you may have concerns about the legitimacy of their will or what they have written in their will. If you find yourself in this situation, our Guide to Contesting or Challenging a Will provides an overview to the ways in which a will can be challenged or contested.

clip_image002Alternatively, you might not dispute the will itself, but you might not be happy with the way that the wishes laid down in that will are being carried out. You may wish to challenge the way that one of the personal representatives (either the executors or trustees) that were appointed in the will are behaving, for example if you are unhappy with their competency or conduct, or believe them to be guilty of mis-management.

You might feel that the way in which they are dealing with the estate, including property and money, is causing you to suffer a loss. They might not, for example, have paid off the debts of the deceased, paid inheritance tax, or paid the correct the amounts to those named in the will.

Alternatively, they might not have let you see a copy of the will when asked so you don’t know if they are carrying out the wishes of your loved one, or they might be failing to ensure that the property detailed in the will is being secured or maintained or correctly, thus causing it to deteriorate.

It is possible to remove and replace personal representatives. In order to do so, you need to be able to prove that they have acted incompetently, negligently or dishonestly, or that they have failed to distribute the assets as the will instructed them to do.

Challenging a trustee or executor is a serious and complicated matter, and can result in them being personally financially responsible if you have suffered a loss, so if you have concerns, your first step is to contact a solicitor. For more information regarding estate planning, click here to visit the Rollingsons website.

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