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What Are The Key Ways to Attack An Executor Post Grant?

Posted: Friday, 4 January 2019 @ 13:43

Often, it is only once an executor has taken probate and the administration of the estate has, or should have, commenced that problems occur, in particular where an executor is uncommunicative, slow and inefficient in the administration of the estate, or has fallen out with his co-executor or the beneficiaries.

Given this, what are your key options? 

1 Inventory and account. My favourite application as it can achieve so much and dodgy executors as it can provide access to bank accounts which executors hate; it is also inexpensive. I have seen pig headed executors fold once they have faced a costs order and the threat of committal if they breach an order. It is  the quickest way to compel a lazy executor to account for his activities is to apply for an order that he/she exhibit an inventory and account in respect of the administration.

2 Judicial trustee. It is also still possible for a beneficiary to apply to the court under s.1 of the Judicial Trustees Act 1896 (JTA) for the appointment by the court of a judicial trustee to administer the estate either together with the current executor, or as a replacement. The judicial trustee is entitled to remuneration out of the estate by order of the court.

3 Section 50 Removal Otherwise if the administration is not progressing to the beneficiaries’ satisfaction, they can consider applying for the executor to be removed or replaced under s. 50 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985. The court will generally replace an executor where, for example, relations between him and the beneficiaries have simply broken down to such an extent that it is no longer possible to progress the administration of the estate properly. This is the nuclear option.

4 Administration proceedings Finally, the beneficiaries should have regard to CPR Part 64 by which the court has a wide-ranging jurisdiction in matters concerning the administration of estates. CPR the court retains the ability to make an administration order by which the administration of an estate is effectively taken over by the court (rather than with the supervision of the court as with a judicial trustee). These orders are now exceptional.