Unreasonable expenses claimed in dealing with an estate

29 February 2024

Georgia Stott, a senior associate in our contentious probate team, advised two brothers who were struggling to work with their third brother in the administration of their late uncle’s estate.

They were all to share the estate equally, and had instructed solicitors to deal with the administration, but their brother was making demands of them which were, in our view, unreasonable.

For example, he was demanding reimbursement for items that our clients had taken for sentimental purposes. The value of the items taken by our clients did not total more than £300 and their brother had been given the opportunity to take a memento of his own. He refused and, despite our clients having evidence to the contrary, claimed he had not had any items from the estate.

He also sought reimbursement of various expenses he claimed to have incurred in dealing with the estate which we considered were unreasonable, such as the cost of lunch, and excessive charges for petrol.

The value of the dispute was very low, but despite our clients trying to be reasonable, and agreeing to their shares of the estate being reduced by a few hundred pounds to try and appease their brother, it proved very difficult to engage with him. Eventually agreement was reached that the three of them would jointly apply to administer the estate, instructing independent solicitors to assist.

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