B P Collins Trust Corporation were appointed as independent administrators of an estate, as the person entitled to deal with the administration had not dealt with any matters and over 18 months had passed from the date of death.  Although the circumstances of the appointment in this matter were unusual, the firm are regularly appointed, either by the court or by executors jointly, as independent administrators to provide a neutral stance and avoid delays to the administration. 

Being a complex estate, this involved dealing with not just the assets in the UK, but those in other jurisdictions.  It was further complicated by the fact that it was not clear as to the extent of the assets.  The private client team were able to proceed efficiently with the administration of the estate including the sale of property, shares, overseas shares and collecting in bank accounts and being able to settle all liabilities that were mounting because of the delays. 

However, the distribution of this estate was not straightforward as the primary beneficiary was reluctant to engage in the process and it was therefore necessary to seek a court order to pay monies into court and to enable other beneficiaries to receive their inheritance. 

Independent administration can be more palatable to executors and beneficiaries of disputed estates, where trust has broken down and progress is not being made.  The advantage of an independent administrator is that whilst they can be empathetic to the situation, they are able to take a step back from any emotional issues and be a practical solution. 

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Lucy Wood
Practice Group Leader

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