Stephanie Kerr, a solicitor from the disputes and litigation team at Napthens Solicitors, discusses how an executor should deal with an estate and what to do if you face problems.
The solicitors dealing with the estate of the late David Bowie have appealed for any unknown children to come forward as they try to determine how his estate is to be distributed.
A notice was placed in The Times giving beneficiaries of the estate a deadline to come forward to make a claim for a share of David Bowie’s £100 million fortune under his last Will.
In administering an estate, executors should try to determine the identity of anyone who might have a claim for a legacy under a Will and give an opportunity for creditors of an estate to come forward.
Executors should take care to ensure that they have made reasonable attempts to ascertain the extent of the estate to be collected in, identify any sums which might need to be paid from the estate such as funeral costs and overpayments of pension funds, and also determine the identity of those who will benefit from the legacies under the Will.
If executors don’t comply with their duties, even unintentionally, they can be at risk of litigation and could be found to be personally liable to make payments from their own funds.
If you have concerns about the way in which an executor is dealing with an estate or you are an executor who has been notified of a dispute surrounding the administration of the estate you are dealing with, it is important that you take professional advice as quickly as possible.