Administration and Distribution

Most Will disputes (not Will challenges or family provision claims) are disputes between executors and beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are not entitled to any involvement in the administration or distribution of an estate. Actually … the executor has complete ownership of the assets of the estate upon a grant of probate to him or her and so long as he or she administers the estate in a proper manner the beneficiaries can have no say in the administration.

Usually the executor or administrator is given approximately 12 months in which to administer and distribute the assets of the estate in accordance with the Will. However that period of time is only a guide. Smaller estate should be completed less than 12 months and more complex estate quite possible much longer than 12 months. In some cases interim distributions to beneficiaries is warranted whilst the whole estate is being finalised over many years.

Beneficiaries are however entitled to seek orders from the court for directions to the executor if the administration is going off the rails. In extreme cases executors may sacked by the court. This involves an application by one or more of the beneficiaries to make an application to the court for a revocation of the grant of probate or administration.

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