The following Wills & Probate Q&A produced in partnership with Lynne Counsell of 9 Stone Buildings provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Executors are under a duty to collect and get in the real and personal estate of the deceased and administer it according to law (section 25 of the Administration of Estates Act 1925 (AEA 1925)). In carrying out these duties, an executor must act with due diligence: see Re Tankard. Executors are also under the duty to exercise reasonable care and skill in accordance with section 1 of the Trustee Act 2000. See: Personal representatives—overview.
These duties of the executor are of a fiduciary nature. The executor must act in good faith and cannot put themselves in a position whereby there is a conflict of interest between their interests and those of the estate: Broughton v Broughton. The question raises a potential conflict of interest as the executor is also a beneficiary. See Practice Note: Personal representatives and trustees—power of appropriation, in particular the section
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