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Being an executor of an estate is a position of great trust and responsibility. Following our article yesterday on the powers of executors, we will now discuss what happens if the executor is not doing their job properly.

Should an executor neglect their duties such that they distributed their assets too early, beneficiaries can often take action to ensure the estate is properly and efficiently administered.


Distributing the estate too early

An executor can be held personally liable for shortfalls if they distribute the estate prematurely without holding back sufficient funds to cover any liabilities. Generally, to avoid potential liability to a creditor, beneficiary or other person, executors will delay distribution until the expiry of the 30 days’ notice and the passage of six months from the date of death.

It is always important for executors to have careful consideration of the possible risks and rewards of early distribution of the estate prior to any distribution.


Options to Pursue if Executors is Negligent  

Should a beneficiary believe that the executor has been negligent, they have a few options to pursue. You can make an application to the Court to have the executor removed from the estate. In doing so, you must be able to prove that that the executor has engaged in misconduct.

Alternatively, you as a beneficiary is entitled to sue the executor for failing to do their duties. The beneficiary will need to prove that they suffered financial detriment because of the executor’s actions.


We understand that the probate process can be an emotional matter for a family. Not only are they the survivors having to deal with the death of their loved ones but also the financial matters which needs to be managed appropriately. If you are a beneficiary and believe that the estate administrator is not doing their duty, Straits Lawyers are here to help. Simply send us an email at or give us a call on 8410 9069 to arrange an appointment for an online interview.

Alternatively, if you would like your Will to be drafted, Straits Lawyers are now offering online Will services. To access these services, simply click on the link –


Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice and Straits Lawyers will not be legally responsible for any actions you take based on this article.