Brother and sister removed as executors of their mother’s will
A brother and sister have been removed as executors of their mother’s will because they could not work together and no longer trusted each other.
The two siblings had been appointed as executors by their mother and were the main beneficiaries of her will.
The brother lived in the same street where his mother had lived in Colchester and the sister lived in Cornwall. They rarely saw each other. The mother’s estate consisted mainly of her house, which was in a poor condition, and some small investments.
The sister agreed that her brother could administer the estate on the basis that he kept her informed about what was happening.
The brother then allowed the grandson of his partner to live in the house and proposed to sell it to him.
Contrary to the agreement with his sister, he failed to respond to letters and telephone calls from her solicitor checking how matters were proceeding. The sister then look legal action to remove her brother as an executor and for him to account for the rent earned on the mother’s house.
The court held that the brother and sister were effectively strangers and could not get on with each other. There was a clash of personalities and a lack of confidence, which led to a standstill for three years.
It was therefore appropriate to remove them both as executors. If they could agree, the role could be taken up by other family members, otherwise an independent probate solicitor should be appointed.
Please contact Alex Deller-Rust if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of wills and probate.