So, you’re Executor (or Administrator) of the Estate – and now there’s Litigation.  What to do next?

There’s a whole heap of responsibilities and duties when you’re an executor (for a refresher, see our earlier article, What are an Executor’s Duties?).  If someone is challenging the validity of the will, or contesting the terms of the will, then unfortunately there’s a whole raft of new and additional considerations.

If this does occur, the best course of action is to immediately obtain legal advice concerning your situation, in order to address as soon as possible.  This is particularly beneficial for two primary reasons:

  • Firstly, it limits the possibility of making any unintentional concessions that may be detrimental to your position/the estate’s position; and
  • Secondly, it may be possible to explore some options of early-resolution of the matter – this may entail a persuasive legal response critiquing the supposed dispute raised by the other party (such as why their position is without merit), or making an early settlement proposal to address the dispute and minimise costs of protracted litigation.

Where an estate is facing any dispute or litigation, early exploration of the issues and advice surrounding those issues is critically important.  It ensures that you are properly equipped to best manage and address the issues, and ensures you don’t accidentally run afoul of the additional duties and responsibilities imposed on an estate facing disputes and litigation.

Whether it’s a forensic analysis of the merits of the dispute, or the evidence for/against your position, our estate lawyers can provide important and guidance to manage the dispute and minimise the disruption and consequences of the dispute and litigation.

If you are executor of an estate facing a dispute, or are concerned about a potential dispute and want to get in front of the issue and be proactive, then please contact us to discuss how we can assist you.

This publication is for information only and is not legal advice. You should obtain advice that is specific to your circumstances and not rely on this publication as legal advice. If there are any issues you would like us to advise you on arising from this publication, please let us know.

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