This article is the second in a two-part series exploring the roles and responsibilities of a personal representative (“PR”).
There are 6 main duties which are being considered. This article will summarise duties 4-6. The first 3 can be found in Part 1 of the series.
Duty 4: Duty to Provide Inventory and Account
As a PR there is a duty on you to prepare and keep estate accounts. There is no prescribed way in which these accounts need to be formatted but it makes sense for them to be intelligible considering that they must be provided, upon request, to a beneficiary or creditor. If they are not provided, then one is able to make an application to court to obtain them.
Duty 5: Statutory Duty of Care
As a sort of “catch all” provision, PRs are bound by a statutory duty of care. This means that even if a PR has not breached any of the other duties mentioned, they may still be in breach of their obligations: the duty of care provision ensures that a PR is exercising due care and skill when fulfilling their obligations.
Duty 6: Duty of Disclosure (other than by way of inventory or account)
This duty is a bit more nuanced than the others mentioned in this series. That is primarily because the duty of disclosure is discretionary. This means that a PR must consider whether disclosure is necessary. Exercise of this discretion can, and is, challenged and therefore even though a PR has a choice, it does not mean that the court cannot get involved to order disclosure if they see fit.
How we can help
If you are a PR, we can give you specialist advice on your duties and responsibilities. We have experience dealing with a vast range of estates. We also deal with contentious estate matters.
Or, perhaps you are a beneficiary and the PRs are not fulfilling their roles as they should? If so then we can also help you.
If you need assistance or are interested in learning more about this topic, please contact us on 0118 958 9711 or email [email protected]
Get in Touch
If you would like further information, Nicholas Buckle offers an initial one hour fixed fee meeting at a cost of £95 (inc. VAT). During these meeting we can discuss your personal circumstances, options and possible next steps. Nick specialises on a broad range of contentious probate matters.
Due to the current circumstances, meetings can occur via telephone. We are hoping that meetings at our office in Reading can occur soon. Please call the office on 0118 9589711 or email [email protected] if you would like to book a meeting.