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Professional Negligence in the Administration of Estates

When someone dies, his affairs are normally finalised by his personal representatives who are often professionals such as Solicitors.

During this Administration, the personal representatives will do the following:

  1. Gather in the assets;
  2. Pay the debts of the Estate including taxes (such as inheritance tax);
  3. Distribute the Estate in accordance with the deceased’s Will (or any deed of variation) or, if there is no Will, in accordance with the rules of intestacy.

When a Professional takes charge of such matters you trust them to deal with matters correctly. However, occasionally something can go wrong. For instance, if the Executor misinterprets the Will, distributes the Estate incorrectly or miscalculates the Inheritance Tax liability. Maybe one beneficiary is given too much money at a detriment of another beneficiary. If the mistake is not discovered and rectified quickly, then the loss to the aggrieved party could be high.

Where the Executor is a Professional, then the party who has incurred the loss may be entitled to make a claim for compensation as a result of Professional Negligence.