Independent Administration is a term given to a service offered when the administration of a deceased person’s estate may not be progressing. This may be due to a variety of issues such as claims against the estate which may then present challenges in the form of conflicts for executors to act, or simply if an estate becomes too much for the executor to handle.
Our Lawyers are experienced at stepping in and taking over the administration to progress matters and to overcome the challenges present.
We have acted for clients on a wide range of estates with many years of experience in dealing with complex estate administrations subject to disputes, or where there has been a breakdown between the parties.
Our Neutral Role
We must be entirely neutral to any ongoing dispute whilst ensuring that we always act in the estate’s best interests. This allows the dispute between the executors and/or beneficiaries to progress without any hindrance being caused to the due administration of the estate. Our neutral role will also enable us to assist the parties with any aspect of the dispute concerning the administration, whether the tax consequences of settlement, or practical difficulties arising from any proposed settlement.
At Whitehead Monckton, we have expertise in various legal specialities from Corporate and Commercial to Residential Property, Agricultural and Rural Property. This best places us to handle the administration of a deceased’s estate where there are a variety of issues, whether that’s the sale of a property, or issues regarding the deceased’s company.
Our Lawyers have a background in private wealth disputes and understand the emotion and stress that can surround an estate dispute. They are, therefore, aware of the importance of ensuring a cost-efficient and practical solution to progress the administration of the estate.
The process where an estate reaches a stalemate
The administration of the estate may reach a stalemate for several reasons. There may be a conflict between the executors themselves or beneficiaries bringing claims against the executors. There may even be issues regarding the suitability of the executor or concerns with their conduct during the administration. At any stage of the process, our Lawyers can apply to the Court or the Probate Registry to overcome the stalemate and be appointed as an Independent Administrator.
When to Seek Help
Whenever an executor or beneficiary feels an Independent Administrator should be appointed, they should seek the guidance of our Lawyers, who would be happy to advise when they can be assigned to assist by the parties to the dispute. We regularly work with other law firms who approach us for assistance and require our services to make the administration the subject of a dispute.
- There’s a will, and the executor is unfit or in dispute.
- The executor renounces probate or is unlocatable.
- Beneficiaries are unhappy with the executor.
- There’s no will, and beneficiaries cannot agree as to how the administration should be taken forward i.e. who is to act as Administrator.
Our Lawyers have recently concluded the administration of a complex taxable estate where there was a dispute between the sons of the deceased. As a result of the lack of progress in the administration by one son as the appointed executor, Whitehead Monckton stepped in and was appointed as the Independent Administrator to progress the administration that hadn’t been actioned or dealt with for 18 months.
Our Lawyers acted as the Independent Administrator on a claim concerning the suitability of an executor to act where there were concerns over lifetime gifts made to benefit the appointed executor. The claims were able to progress between the parties, whilst our Lawyers were able to advance the administration so that key inheritance tax dates and deadlines were met.
Our Lawyers were appointed as the independent administrator of an estate where the existing executor had died, and the estate was the subject of an Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 claim. Both parties were represented, and the Court appointed Whitehead Monckton to replace the deceased executor. Our Lawyers worked collaboratively with our Corporate team to sort out the deceased’s company and ensure a split between the parties following the settlement reached. This also involved carefully managing the deceased’s extravagant funeral wishes and facilitating these whilst involving all parties.