Estate related disputes
These can take on many guises.
Executors, administrators and trustees (referred to hereafter as ‘trustees’) are entrusted with the management of someone else’s assets. As such, they are obliged to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries in how they administer an estate, realise its assets, deal with, invest or manage trust property. In circumstances where a trustee fails to carry out his duties adequately, disappointed beneficiaries may be able to make a claim for compensation, for an account of the administration of a trust or estate or even to remove and replace the trustee.
Alternatively, trustees may face claims from creditors or other third parties seeking a share of the estate or trust property. In such circumstances the trustee may have to defend the estate or trust property and preserve it for the beneficiaries.
Further, there may not be a dispute, but simply a need for the court to approve a particular step (especially if minors or incapacitated persons are involved) or to provide guidance on a particular issue, such as the need for a trust or estate to take proceedings to recover money or trust assets from a third party.
Finally, Will and trust drafters sometimes make mistakes. This may involve a failure to understand or provide for what the testator wanted when drafting a document, a failure to check the mental capacity of an elderly or clearly ill testator adequately, or even simply taking too long, with the result that the testator died before the will was executed.
It may be possible to bring an action against the person drafting the document to compensate the disappointed beneficiaries for any loss they may have suffered.
For further advice on any of the above or to arrange a no obligation meeting, contact John Melville-Smith on 020 7725 8027.