NSW Executor of Will's Legal Liabilities?

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Well-Known Member
17 February 2016
My late mother's deceased estate has been in churn for nearly 30 months. Issues surround the sale of land due to existing surface water drainage pipes that are not recorded on any deed - that is there is no easement, yet a number of residences upstream use our pipes which in turn connect to three downstream residences.

Apparently Council is unaware of the drains and because it does not involve water drained from roads or council property, Council will not bare associated costs.

The estate agent engaged by the executor says that in order to maximize returns the pipes must be relaid and re-aligned - requiring a DA from council, which won't be available before January at the earliest, at which point if works are undertaken, means the land wont be on the market before April 2019 - a full 34 months after my mother's passing.

Everyone knows Re: prices are on the slide - they've fallen 15% already (according to the agent) and are set to fall maybe 20-25% by 2020.

Given the executor waited a full 12 months before actively pursuing the sale of the estate, and given he accepted the advice of the agent, what (if any liabilities) is the he open to in relation to the drop in the estate's value?

Also, the executor at the agent's behest has spent large sums removing trees from the estate - some illegally, in addition to council approval. The attending aborist told him simply to claim they had to be removed for OH&S reasons. This of course leaves the estate open to fines and legal action by the Council.

Again, to what extent are the executor of will, the agent and the professional arborist open to legal action by the beneficiaries for associated costs?