VIC Legal Costs and Liability of Executors of Will?

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julieann

Active Member
14 April 2019
12
1
34
Can executors of will be made liable for any estate legal costs if a dispute goes through the courts and the legal fees end up being higher than the estate value?
 

Paul Cott

Well-Known Member
LawTap Verified
26 May 2014
269
89
789
Ballarat, Victoria
Hi JulieAnn,
Yes that is possible, as parties to any court matter have a series of obligations as to how they run the matter, including executors, including an overarching obligation to keep costs proportionate to the amount in dispute. Hope that helps.
 

julieann

Active Member
14 April 2019
12
1
34
Thank you. One further question if you don't mind.... what if there are multiple executors and two are not agreeing and wanting to go to the courts - to be honest purely out of spite - can the other two executors ( there are 4 who are also the beneficiaries ) be held accountable for any costs? the bill for the legal process will wipe out the estate. The two executors not fighting are wondering if they should recuse themselves as executors...
 
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Paul Cott

Well-Known Member
LawTap Verified
26 May 2014
269
89
789
Ballarat, Victoria
Thank you. One further question if you don't mind.... what if there are multiple executors and two are not agreeing and wanting to go to the courts - to be honest purely out of spite - can the other two executors ( there are 4 who are also the beneficiaries ) be held accountable for any costs? the bill for the legal process will wipe out the estate. The two executors not fighting are wondering if they should recuse themselves as executors...
The short answer is possibly but unlikely but it depends to some extent on the submissions to the court and what they are (as to the other executors and them paying costs). I never recommend to my clients more than one executor, for exactly this reason. I would think that is a possible prudent course, renunciation.