1 December 2017 by

Choose your executors carefully – court jails executor who abused his position of power

When you make a Will your need to choose executors. Your executors take on a considerable responsibility as they ensure your wishes are properly carried out and assume a duty to act fairly and properly. It is therefore really important that you chose people you trust.

This week an executor was jailed for abusing his position. Thankfully cases like this are rare but the facts of the case which follow provide a cautionary tale and demonstrate that a court will come down hard on abuses of power by executors.

David Loveday was appointed as executor of Anita Border’s estate. Ms Border died in 2015, aged 71. Her Will required Mr Loveday to distribute the estate equally between Ms Border’s friends, Parminder Gibbs and Emma Cullen (who was also Mr Loveday’s partner).

The main asset in the estate was a property. Mr Loveday sold the property and received the proceeds of sale into his personal bank account before proceeding to spend the money on himself and Ms Cullen. No property or monies were distributed to Mrs Gibbs and no estate accounts were produced.

Mr Loveday was removed as executor by the court earlier this year. At a hearing in September 2017 Mr Loveday was held to be in contempt of court. He was given a chance to pay Mrs Gibbs some of the money she is owed; however, he failed to do so and he also breached a court order requiring him to disclose his bank records.

Mr Loveday was found to have exercised “no control over the estate assets” and to have “frittered” the deceased’s money away “on living expenses, cards, holidays and by withdrawals”. The Judge held that Mr Loveday was “personally culpable” for his failure to control the estate assets.

As a result, he was jailed for 6 months on 28th November 2017.

You can contact one of our  solicitors in the Contentious Probate team here.

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