According to the Chancery Division of the High Court, claims for mishandling a deceased’s person estate have more than tripled over the last year.

The types of claim have ranged from an executor stealing assets to a fraudulent distribution of the assets to favour particular beneficiaries or, in some cases, to deliberately exclude others.

Friends or family members who may not want the money of the deceased to go anyone outside of the immediate family have taken matters into their own hands and distributed  the estate as they see fit.

Executor fees

Often, this has been contrary to the deceased’s wishes and their own responsibility as the legal executor. Given the increase in house prices, and the large amounts of money at stake, some executors have been tempted to raid the estate for their own benefit.


A DIY Will may also lead to an executor “deliberately misinterpreting” a Will in order to favour one beneficiary over another.

In most cases lay executors are usually trustworthy and do a good job but there will always be a small minority who will administer an estate badly either through ignorance or fraudulently.