An executor owes a duty of care, both to their co-executors and beneficiaries of the estate. In certain situations a duty can also be owed to other third parties.
This means that executors are required to exercise a reasonable level of skill and care when carrying out their duties.
If they fail to meet the required standard then they may find themselves facing an executor negligence claim.
An executor negligence claim is a legal action that is brought against an executor who has acted in breach of their duty of care resulting in another party suffering financial loss. Where executor negligence has occurred then in addition to claiming an award of damages the court can also order that the executor is removed from office.
Where the executor is a professional person such as a solicitor or an accountant then the executor negligence claim is dealt with according to the principles governing professional indemnity law. A higher standard of care can be expected from a professional executor as compared to a layperson who is acting in that capacity.
If an executor fails to act diligently, fails to safeguard the assets or acts with undue delay then an executor negligence claim can be considered.
A professional executor will generally hold professional indemnity insurance. This means that if they have caused you financial loss then if you win your executor negligence case the damages awarded will be paid by the insurers. Lay executors by contrast may not have insurance and may not have the personal assets to meet an award, so this factor needs to be taken into consideration when contemplating legal action.
We operate a free legal helpline for claims with a value in excesss of £10,000. Simply send us details of the executor's failings and the financial loss that you have suffered, and we will then assess the prospects of making an executor negligence claim.
We are often able to deal with executor negligence cases on a No Win, No fee basis.
If you have a query about executor negligence then call us on 0808 139 1591 or send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org