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Private Client

Estate Administration Disputes

When someone dies, we all hope that their wishes will be carried out. However, it may be the case that an executor or administrator fails in their duty. When this happens, there is a risk of a dispute that could damage family relationships. Our estate administration disputes solicitors can help to resolve matters and work to prevent disagreements from escalating.

The role of executor or, if there is no Will, administrator, can be complex and demanding. They have the task of winding up the estate, accounting for all assets and liabilities and distributing the estate to those entitled to inherit. There are many separate tasks and the job is generally both difficult and time-consuming.

If the beneficiaries feel that the job is not being carried out properly or another type of dispute arises, such as a disagreement over the Will, it is important to seek professional help promptly.

As estate dispute experts, we can take immediate action to try and resolve matters before positions become entrenched. We know how important it is to reduce conflict wherever possible and to find a solution that allows rifts to be healed.

We have extensive experience in dealing with all types of contentious probate disputes and we represent executors, administrators and beneficiaries. We know that finalising an estate administration so that everyone can move on is important and we will always do all we can to avoid delays and reach an acceptable conclusion promptly.

We generally approach estate administration issues in the following ways:

  • Negotiating with the other parties and their legal representatives to try and find a resolution
  • Discussing your legal position and your available options, including alternative dispute resolution
  • Where necessary, applying to the court for an order

Get in touch with our estate administration disputes solicitors in Alconbury, Birmingham, Nottingham, Peterborough and Spalding

To access legal support and discuss your case today, contact our estate dispute lawyers in Alconbury, Birmingham, Nottingham, Peterborough or Spalding.

Our estate administration dispute expertise

Assessing your case and negotiating

Estate administration disputes can be frustrating and upsetting at what is already a difficult time.  If you are struggling as a beneficiary to get updates or information, we can help.  We can investigate and try to resolve issues collaboratively.

In some cases, it may be necessary to remove and replace the executors or administrators.

It may be that you are the executor or administrator and are facing unreasonable demands from the beneficiaries when you are trying to administer an estate. We can advise you of the best course of action and, where necessary, intervene on your behalf to ensure that other parties understand your position.

Involving expert estate dispute solicitors early on can often mean that lengthy legal difficulties are avoided and a quick resolution is found. Allowing issues to drag on is likely to delay the estate administration and can end up being expensive.

Our team will do all they can to avoid this happening and to ensure the proper and efficient administration of the deceased’s estate.

Alternative dispute resolution

If it is not possible to agree on matters by way of negotiation, we can discuss whether alternative dispute resolution is an option. This includes mediation, where a neutral mediator will assist the parties in exploring potential solutions.

It is generally a faster and more cost-effective option than court. It can also prevent relationships from deteriorating and help those involved to understand each other’s position.


Where necessary, we can apply to the court to have the matter dealt with by a judge. This could be to ask for the executor or administrator to be given directions in respect of the winding up or to have them removed.

The court can also deal with other issues, including Inheritance Act claims and disputes over the validity of a Will.

If litigation is the best choice for your issue, we will prepare a robust case on your behalf and ensure that you are represented by an expert contentious probate advocate.

Common causes of estate administration disputes

Disagreements amongst the beneficiaries

There is wide scope for disagreement between beneficiaries following a death when emotions are running high. They might not agree on what should happen to assets, such as whether the deceased’s home should be sold or who should receive certain items.

Beneficiaries may also feel that they should have been left a higher proportion of the estate or individuals who were not left anything might want to make a claim.

If you are an executor or an administrator and you are dealing with this situation, you are strongly advised to take legal advice to protect your position. If you take steps which cause a loss to the estate, you could be held personally liable for this.

Conflicts with the appointed executors or administrators

The role of executor or administrator is onerous and conflict can arise both between those administering the estate and between executors or administrators and beneficiaries. This type of disagreement can prevent an estate from being wound up promptly.

Again, seeking legal advice early on will give you the best chance of finding a resolution. Our team can suggest ways of moving on and it is often the case that involving an expert can help reduce conflict and allow everyone to focus on finalising the administration.

Disputes over the Will

There are several types of disputes that can arise in respect of a Will. Common causes of Wills disputes include:

  • Lack of testamentary capacity, where the person making the Will, known as the testator, did not have the mental ability to understand the document and the implications of signing it
  • Lack of knowledge and approval of the contents of the Will, where the testator was not aware of what the Will contained
  • Ambiguity, where the Will is not clear and could be interpreted in different ways
  • The Will is not valid because it was not correctly signed and witnessed
  • Undue influence, where the testator was persuaded by someone to make a Will in their favour

We handle all types of Wills disputes and can advise you of the strength of your case and the options open to you.

Issues with the handling of the estate administration process

If you are a beneficiary and you have a dispute with the executor of a Will over the handling of the administration process, it can be frustrating. Issues that could arise include:

  • The administration is not moving forward effectively
  • Mistakes are being made in the administration
  • The executors or administrators are not observing the best interests of the beneficiaries
  • The executors or administrators are not following the terms of the Will
  • The executors or administrators are breaching their duty by failing to act, self-dealing, embezzling or otherwise harming the estate
  • The executors or administrators are failing to keep proper records or prepare detailed accounts

Why choose Roythornes estate administration dispute solicitors?

Our estate administration disputes lawyers have a wide range of experience in dealing with all types of disagreements, representing administrators, executors or beneficiaries. We will take prompt and effective action to move matters on so that the administration can be finalised.

We hold the Law Society’s Lexcel accreditation in recognition of our outstanding practice management and client care, as well as the Customer Service Excellence award.

We know that dealing with someone’s affairs after a death is often very difficult, and you will find our team to be sympathetic and supportive. We will give you an honest assessment of your case and explain the options open to you. We always work to resolve matters quickly and with minimal conflict.

We are easy to contact and will always take the time to discuss any concerns you may have and to answer your questions as they arise.

Get in touch with our estate administration dispute solicitors in Alconbury, Birmingham, Nottingham, Peterborough and Spalding

To access legal support and discuss your case today, contact our team in Alconbury, Birmingham, Nottingham, Peterborough or Spalding.