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Executors beware - continuing duties after COVID-19

View profile for Victoria Wall
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COVID-19 associated deaths have recently passed 41,000, while the weekly number of deaths for 2020 has been above a five year average since mid-March. As the number of deaths hopefully decline further, the focus will turn to the estates of those who fell victim. Executors and administrators (also called personal representatives) must be especially careful to no to fall behind in performing their duties to administer estates in an efficient and co-operative manner. Otherwise, they could face claims from the beneficiaries which could result in them being required to rectify any losses to the estate.

  • A personal representative while administering the estate must:
  • collect and administer the Deceased’s estate;
  • exhibit a full inventory of the estate (complete inheritance tax forms);
  • (when required) render an account of the administration; and
  • (when required) deliver up a grant of probate or administration to court.

There is no duty to keep beneficiaries informed of the progress of the administration of the Deceased’s estate outlined here. However, it is recognised that if the personal representative fails to discharge their duty, the beneficiaries are entitled to make a claim against the personal representatives because the beneficiaries are entitled to what they are due to inherit under the estate.

We recommend that personal representatives keep in contact with beneficiaries to keep them informed of the progress being made and allow them to ask questions which should not be overly time-consuming.

Although each estate varies in size and complexity, personal representatives should look to complete the administration of most estates within a year from the death of the Deceased. If the administration is held up by a beneficiary or somebody claiming they should be a beneficiary, we can assist you in finalising the estate.

Our contentious probate team specialises in all aspects of contentious probate and is consistently ranked in the top tier of The Legal 500. The team is headed up by Robert Weston, who is listed in The Legal 500 as a “leading individual” and was the instructing solicitor for the successful party in the landmark judgment of Walker v Badmin.  Robert, together with Suzanne Lee and Andrew Chandler are all full members of The Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) and represent clients both nationwide and abroad in both bringing and defending claims. 

If you have a contentious probate matter which you would like to discuss with a specialist solicitor with a view to instructing mfg Solicitors LLP, please visit  for further information and contact details.