Posted: Thursday, 12 December 2019 @ 11:47
From time to time my office get telephone calls from members of the public who want to do an application for inventory and account themselves and just want an idea of what the process involves and quick guidance as to what forms/affidavit etc are required.
The primary motivation may be legal costs savings and can also be a simple desire just to get the application done.
However, is it really worth while trying to do an application for inventory and account yourself rather than instructing a solicitor?
Fundamentally it depends what you are trying to achieve with the application.
If you want the Executor to file an inventory and account in a basic format then maybe you can do it yourself.
But often I use an inventory and account as a means to end which is often to get the executor to disclose information (which a Judge may not necessarily order unless the executor is asked in a certain way) and to try (ideally) to give the Executor a taste of defeat in Court.
Often an application for inventory and account can be used as a precursor to something else such as removal of executor or an application for disputing will validity. I have one application which will ultimately lead to the removal of executor as we obtain a series of orders against the executor who is just ignoring the Court.
With respect to legal costs it is worth bearing in mind that a solicitor has a good prospect of getting(most) those costs back.
Moreover if you DIY your application for inventory and account and get it wrong you could end up getting saddled with the Executor's legal costs. The stakes can get high for both parties.