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Executor of Will and Deceased Estate - Maladministration?

Discussion in 'Wills and Estate Planning Law Forum' started by Gayle, 15 May 2014.

  1. Gayle

    Gayle Member

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    As sole Executor of will of our Mother's deceased estate, am I legally responsible for monumental expenses organised without my consent for our Mothers grave site?

    I received an invoice for expenses addressed to the 'Estate' of my late Mother, which I have not paid. Members of my family have obtained legal advice and are now threatening to have me removed as executor for maladministration of the estate.

    Can I be held responsible for something I did not organise, which was carried out without my consent? Are they for real?
     
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    As general principles (exceptions excepted and variables not allowed for)...
    • it is one of the functions of Executor(s) to arrange the funeral;
    • only an Executor can incur costs on behalf of the estate;
    • an Executor is entitled to be reimbursed from the estate for the cost of the funeral and certain other costs;
    When you say "monumental", do you mean "very large", or do you mean literally monument (such as a fancy headstone or similar)?

    There may be some useful information here (at least if you are in NSW):

    http://www.legalanswers.sl.nsw.gov.au/guides/wills_estates/when_someone_dies.html
    http://www.lawsociety.com.au/community/publicationsandfaqs/BeinganExecutor/index.htm
    http://www.tag.nsw.gov.au/executor-cautions.html
    http://www.13wentworthselbornechambers.com.au/pdfs/commonmistakesbyexecutors.pdf


    As to "having you removed" - they would need to make an application to the court.
    To succeed they will need to show, on the balance of probabilities, that there has actually been maladministration.
    Mere inefficiency (such as slowness) is not always and automatically a ground for removal.

    What a lot of people overlook is that is perfectly reasonable for an executor to seek legal advice about how to do their job
    (the costs of which can often be recovered from the estate).
     
    Marcus and Michael T like this.
  3. winston wolf

    winston wolf Well-Known Member

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    I would suggest you get a copy of the order for the monument and get the memorial contractor to contact the person who placed the order to recover their bill. If they cant show who ordered the monument they can take it back and you can order a more appropriate one.

    It is very difficult and long winded processes to have an executor removed.
     
    Marcus and John R like this.

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