If a person is a trustee and executor of an estate can they along with 3 of the beneficiaries spend large sums of money

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Customer: If a person is a trustee and executor of an estate can they along with 3 of the beneficiaries spend large sums of money from the estate without the other beneficiaries knowledge?
JA: Estate laws vary by state. What state are you in?
Customer: New Zealand
JA: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?
Customer: We have a will appointing the executor/trustee and invoices from one of the beneficiaries that they are wanting to have reimbursed from the estate for work they have done without the knowledge of the remaining 6 beneficiaries
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: The deceased passed away in 2013, leaving 9 beneficiaries, the beneficiaries received an interim payout in 2014, the house was rented to one beneficiary in 2016. The executor & 3 of the beneficiaries (including the one living in the house) have made decisions to spend upwards of $70k on the property without consultation with any of the other beneficiaries, they have allowed the person in residence to run a business from the house and reduced her rent to a value of approx 30% market rent. We wish to know is this appropriate management of an estate and do we have good cause to have the executor removed?
Answered by Chris The Lawyer in 34 mins 3 months ago
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Hi My name is ***** ***** I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington with more than 42 years of experience. I am here to help with your questions.
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

The beneficiaries should be consulted about these matters, and if there has been an unfair division of proceeds of the estate and income, then that is a serious problem. In addition, a trustee can only claim expenses and cannot claim fees for the administration unless they are a lawyer and specifically allowed to charge fees by the will. Even then as a beneficiary that would be wrong

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

That could be a ground for removing the executor, which would need a High Court application, at some cost for the lawyer

Customer
Thanks so much Chris, am I correct in thinking that the cost of removing executor would be upwards of $10k?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

It would depend on how difficult the executor was, and you could claim costs if you succeed, which should be paid by the estate. But that figure would be a starting point

Customer
You have been very helpful, thanks so much
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Glad to help

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