Administration actions—personal representatives' post-grant liability
Administration actions—personal representatives' post-grant liability

The following Wills & Probate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Administration actions—personal representatives' post-grant liability
  • Liability to third parties
  • Liability to beneficiaries
  • Liability for third party activities
  • Protection and relief against liability

Most administrations take a little while to complete. In the course of that administration the personal representatives (PRs) will engage in a number of duties that could bring them into conflict situations. Therefore, it is important for PRs to understand the extent of their liabilities to third parties and indeed, the beneficiaries of the deceased's Will or their intestacy.

Liability to third parties

In contract

Very simply, PRs will be personally liable on contracts entered into in their own names. This liability cannot be limited to the extent of the estate assets in their names. In essence, they will be liable in their own names for goods and work and any judgment will, in effect, be against their own assets. They may be able to claim back an indemnity from the estate but they are the first port of call in any action.

As an important aside, special rules apply in respect of an executor de son tort, who is liable to be sued but for no more than has come into their hands.

Bizarrely, they may even have more protection than the rightful representative in that it seems that they can set up a defence of title by possession as against a beneficiary. Generally, the legislation prevents a lawful representative doing this as they will be treated as a trustee for