Factsheet - Claims against Executors

There are times when beneficiaries can feel dissatisfied or even aggrieved at the manner in which personal representatives (i.e. executors and administrators) have chosen or, as the case may be, not chosen to administer an estate. 

The personal representatives’ overriding duty when administering an estate is governed by section 25 of the Administration of Estates Act 1925: 

“The personal representatives of a deceased person shall be under a duty to: 

(a) collect and get in the real and personal estate of the deceased and administer it according to law..”  

Personal representatives must act in accordance with this duty when exercising the powers given to them by any will, statute or common law. Such duties and powers conferred on personal representatives may be relied upon by disgruntled beneficiaries in order to compel the personal representatives to properly administer an estate. 

The following remedies and causes of action may be available to a beneficiary when experiencing difficulties with how an estate is being administered: 

  1. Administration proceedings under Part 64 of the Civil Procedure Rules in order to ensure the proper administration of the estate and, usually, to obtain delivery of estate accounts and answers to queries relating to those accounts;
  2. Removal or substitution of a personal representative under Part 57 of the Civil procedure Rules;
  3. Appointment, removal or substitution of a personal representative under Section 50 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985;
  4. A personal claim for devastavit or breach of trust against a personal representative or trustee concerning any breach of duty committed during their office;
  5. A personal claim against any third party in whose hands estate assets are wrongfully held;
  6. Injunctive relief against a personal representative in order to prohibit or compel steps being taken during an administration.

Should you wish to have a free initial telephone consultation in order to discuss your particular matter relating to this area, please call us on 01384 410410 and ask to speak to James Coles or Susan Ford. Alternatively, you can e-mail us your enquiry at contentiousprobate@georgegreen.co.uk providing a brief summary of the issues, along with your contact details or, if you prefer, you can use the online enquiry form and we will contact you for an initial free telephone consultation.

Advisory Note

The contents of this note are a brief summary of the principles relating to this topic and are not to be treated in any way as comprehensive advice for any particular matter. Each matter will turn substantially on its own facts and specific legal advice should be obtained in each case.