Can a beneficiary sue an Executor who has been removed by the court?

We are acting for a beneficiary of an estate where her brother was Executor of the Will but administered the estate negligently causing loss to our client. Litigation ensued and the court removed him as an Executor and appointed another law firm as professional executors instead.

My question is: can our client sue her brother for negligence? Or are there some fiduciary principles that attach the liability in negligence to the professional Executors, as it would for trustees or partners?

Jane Whitfield
Barrett & Co Solicitors LLP

The question arises on whether the Executor:

(a) acted independently in the administration of the Estate,
(b) appointed a firm of professionals to act as his Agent, or
© donated his limited powers of attorney for a firm of professionals to act on his behalf (yes - some firms do countenance this in the interests of expediency!).

If (a) then the claim can be brought against the negligent Executor. If © then the claim could be brought against the firm of professionals. If (b) this becomes more of a grey area. What instructions were provided to his agents, and on the basis of what advice and recommendation as to the consequences of his instruction to act or omit to act?

Apologies - more questions than answers in this response I’m afraid…

Michael Fogg
JMD Law Ltd