The role of executor or trustee is a difficult one with certain obligations and responsibilities which must be carried out. These include collecting all assets, settling all debts and liabilities and distributing what is left to the beneficiaries.
As an executor and trustee, you owe a duty of care and must be careful about the decisions you make. If a claim against the estate is made or threatened, as an executor or trustee you cannot ignore this. Likewise, sometimes beneficiaries may decide that they are not happy with the way an executor or trustee deals with the estate or trust. In such situations they can ask you to step down or they could start court proceedings to remove you.
At Linder Myers we have experience in dealing with all types of executor and trustee problems. We act for executors and trustees in relation to many different issues, which can include one-off advice or on-going assistance regarding your powers and duties.
Claims against an estate
With clear rules relating to executor and trustee obligations, duties and responsibilities, if a claim is made against an estate it is vital to receive expert legal advice. However tempting it may be to settle a potential claim in a manner you believe to be in the best interests of the beneficiaries or trust, if this is not done within the prescribed rules you may leave yourself open to personal liability and future problems. At Linder Myers we have extensive experience advising executors and trustees in such situations, and are often able to resolve any potential claim quickly, without the need to make any applications to Court.
Claims against an executor
Where a beneficiary decides that they are not happy with the way you have dealt with an estate or trust, we can help settle the matter as early as possible and ensure you are fully protected against future claims. Unfortunately in these circumstances it is often the case that this type of action is coupled with accusations that you as an executor have acted improperly and the beneficiaries may demand access to information or documents. Such situations are understandably difficult for executors and they will have to make decisions about the precise meaning of such legal documents.With a focus on dispute resolution on minimising costs where possible we pride ourselves in achieving the desired results by maximising the use of alternative dispute resolution, for example through formal mediation. However, when this is not possible, our experienced litigators will be able to guide you smoothly through the process.
In either situation it is important for you as an executor or trustee to know what you should do in case a challenge or claim is made, and fully understand the consequences of your actions before any decisions are made. Professional advice is often a necessary protection and costs are usually paid out of the estate or trust.
With competitive fees and transparent costs that are agreed with our clients at the outset, our team are always open and upfront with you when discussing the anticipated costs that you may be facing. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you, contact us today.Contact us Further advice for executors and trustees