I am acting for the executor in the administration of an estate – the estate includes a collection of antique muskets swords and bayonets (value £40K). The executor now wishes to sell these against the wishes of the sole beneficiary (a lady in her late 70’s) who was a friend of the deceased.
The will left the deceased’s horse and house to the sole beneficiary with the residue subject to IHT, debts and testamentary expenses also to her (IHT etc has yet to be determined). There is a possibility that this IHT etc could be met from cash in the deceased’s bank. My client says that they want to sell these now because they are costing the estate in terms of insurance and storage, the beneficiary has said that they do not want them sold (there is no apparent reason why the beneficiary would want to retain them).
Is my client exposed to a claim from the beneficiary if they go ahead and sell now thus ignoring the wishes of the sole beneficiary. My own view is that the executor would be ok to sell but only once they were certain that it was needed to meet the IHT etc - any thoughts?