Appoint a Professional as Executor of Your Will - Here's Why!

Every parent hopes that their children will get on with one another – but, sadly, that cannot be guaranteed and one High Court case showed exactly why it is wiser to employ a neutral solicitor to administer your estate once you are gone.

Apart from modest legacies to her grandchildren, a woman had left her estate, which had a capital value of over £460,000, equally to her three daughters. The latter were also appointed as joint executors of their mother's will. However, the relationship between the sisters was characterised by friction and hostility even before their mother died and had become particularly bad in the weeks following her funeral.

Two of the sisters made common cause against their sibling, accusing her of failing to cooperate in the administration of the estate, which had been delayed for several years as a result. The latter, however, complained that she had been kept out of the loop on every level since their mother died.

In ruling on the matter, the Court noted that it was neither necessary nor profitable to reach a decision on the rights and wrongs of the dispute. The reality was that the sisters could not work together and had been unable to break the legal impasse. In the circumstances, the Court ordered, with regret, that all three women should be removed as executors of the estate and replaced by an independent solicitor.