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Insight | For Individuals

Executors and Administrators Responsibilities - Claims Against an Estate

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Executors appointed under a Will of a deceased and Administrators appointed under the Rules of Intestacy (when there is no Will) should consider and be aware that claims can be made against an Estate within 6 months from the date of issue of a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration.

The Executor/Administrator should caution against distributions out of an Estate from being made for the first 3 months and to be aware that claims can be made within the 6 month period.

Examples of Claims against an Estate

Reasonable Provision claimed by:-

  • Any spouse or civil partner.
  • Any former spouse or civil partner, provided they have not remarried or registered a new civil partnership, and provided no court order was made at the time of their separation that specifically precludes them from bringing such a claim.
  • Any other person with whom the deceased was cohabiting continuously for the two years immediately preceding death as spouse or civil partner.
  • Any children (which includes illegitimate, adopted and adult children, and children conceived but not yet born at the time of death, but not stepchildren unless they have also been adopted).
  • Any person who the deceased treated as a child of the family in relation to any marriage or civil partnership and who was dependant (eg a former spouse's child from a former relationship).
  • A person the deceased may have maintained ( making a substantial contribution towards their reasonable needs up to death), on the basis that he or she had assumed responsibility for them.

Other reasons of challenges to a Will may include :-

  • If there has been 'undue influence' on the deceased at the time the will was made.
  • Mental incapacity of the deceased.
  • All or any of the Will not being correctly signed , dated or witnessed
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Liabilities of the Estate

It may be that the Revenue (HMRC), the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) or any other unknown creditors (Creditors may have a claim against an Estate). Full enquires should be made by an Executor/Administrator and consideration of the placement of Statutory Advertisements.

Heald are here to provide legal advice and take instructions from Executors/Administrators (our client) to assist with Grants of Probate/Letters of Administration and to deal with Estate administration (ie. Grant application, taxation gather in assets, settlement of liabilities and distribution) on behalf of our Client.


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