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Published On: March 26, 2024 | Blog | 0 comments

Recoverability of executor costs in non-contentious matters  

The role of executor can be burdensome and often daunting, particularly for a layperson. When they agree to take on the role, they often are not aware that they are under a strict duty to carry out the administration of the estate in a timely manner, to exercise reasonable skill and care when doing so, and to act in the best interest of the beneficiaries.  

Executors will spend money when discharging this duty. However, reasonable expenses can ordinarily be recovered from the estate fund. This post will cover the general rules on the recoverability of executor costs in non-contentious matters. 

Some examples of reasonable costs include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Funeral expenses 
  • Probate registry fees 
  • Property clearance 
  • Property insurance 
  • Property maintenance 
  • Estate agent fees (if there is an estate property to sell) 

Beneficiaries are entitled to see estate accounts detailing money paid in and out of the estate since the date of death. On sight of these accounts, they may challenge payments which they consider to be unreasonable. The key question executors should consider is whether the expense is necessary and reasonable in carrying out the proper administration of the estate. 

To minimise the scope for disagreement, executors are advised to keep a breakdown of money spent so that these payments can be explained to beneficiaries. Executors should pay the estate fund into a separate bank account to maintain clear parameters between estate money and personal money. 

If executors are worried about the time involved in administering an estate or the level of liability, they can seek professional advice or ask a professional to deal with the administration on their behalf. This may usually be paid for out of the estate.

On 24 April 2024, Anthony Gold partner David Wedgwood and solicitor Christopher Hatton will be hosting a seminar with Radcliffe Chambers to discuss when estates get out of hand. To register, click on the banner below:

Blessing Orders: When should a trustee apply to the court to bless a decision?

* Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*

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