Costs in Executor dispute “disproportionate”

Co-Executor siblings managed to accrue £120,000 in legal fees between them, seeking to have each other removed. This is a monumental expense in any case but in this matter the estate was only worth £350,000.

It does lead one to consider whether the appointment of siblings as Executors (where the family is less than harmonious) is a good idea. In some cases it might be that the appointment of a professional Executor, such as a solicitor, is less costly that dealing with a dispute if this is a likelihood.

If you need any advice on Executor disputes, how to deal with them or avoid them, or you are considering who to appoint in your will, then please contact our inheritance dispute solicitors at

Judge quotes Tolstoy as she rules on ‘unhappy’ family’s fight over will
Master Julia Clark said a sister and brother ran up ‘disproportionate’ legal bills during a dispute over their father’s estate. A judge recalled an observation about unhappy families by Russian writer Leo Tolstoy after hearing how a sister and brother ran up lawyers’ bills of more than £120,000 during a High Court argument related to their late father’s £350,000 estate. The judge, Master Julia Clark, said the amounts run up by Sharon Hudman and Alan Morris, following the death of their father, Barry Morris, were 'on any basis disproportionate”. Master Clark said the case was another example of Tolstoy’s observation that 'each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”.