In the recent case of Ugolor & Ors v Ugolor  EWHC 686 (Ch), the Defendant was removed from his position as executor of his mother’s estate following an application made by the Defendant’s three siblings (the Claimants).
In the case, the Defendant argued that he was due to inherit the majority of his mother’s estate, including a property valued in the region of £1 million, under the terms of a will that was made in 2008.
The Claimants argued that the 2008 will was invalid and that their mother’s estate should be distributed in accordance with the rules of intestacy, which would result in the estate being distributed in equal shares between the four siblings.
Before the dispute over the will could be resolved, the Claimants applied to remove the Defendant as executor of his mother’s estate.
In his judgment, Peter Knox Q.C. provided ten reasons why he agreed with the Claimants that the Defendant was an inappropriate person to act as executor.
These ten reasons included the allegations that:
1. The Defendant had tried to forge their father’s will following his death in 2017;
2. The Defendant had misled the Probate Registry on affidavit that he had served a warning off notice on the Claimants;
3. The Defendant had misused the deceased’s money whilst she was still alive.
In replacement of the Defendant, a solicitor was appointed to act as an independent administrator of the estate. Although the solicitor worked at the same firm as the Claimants’ solicitors, it was not considered that he would be wrongly influenced in acting for the estate. This appointment allows for the estate to be handled by a neutral third party whilst the dispute between the beneficiaries over the validity of the 2008 will is ongoing.
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