We have discussed before the important things to consider when appointing executors.
This is becoming of increasing importance as recent statistics have shown a 300% increase in Court actions against executors who have not administered a will in accordance with its provisions. The majority of these cases are against “lay” or non-professional executors.
Once again, false economies are evident. Many people are tempted to feel that they are going to save the estate some money, by appointing family friends etc. as executors, rather than professionals such as solicitors and accountants. However, what is coming to light, is that increasingly, such executors are distributing the estate as they think fit, rather than acting in accordance with their responsibilities. The effect is that rather than saving money, the estate is instead incurring unnecessary legal costs in Court actions against incompetent or dishonest executors.
Appointing a professional as executor does not necessarily mean that there will be extra cost to the estate. Indeed it can often prove to be the opposite as these new Court statistics show. Professionals also have indemnity Insurance in place if things do go wrong.
About the author
Roger Pratt is a Partner and Head of the Private Client Department of Hopkins Solicitors LLP, and a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. If you have a legal question on Wills, Probate, Intestacy, Trusts or any related matter, please contact Roger.