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Ask Buachaill Your Own Question
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10949
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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Can a lawyer acting as an executor of a will act on behalf

Customer Question

can a lawyer acting as an executor of a will act on behalf of a party who are challenging the will or the party who have been left the property?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
1. A lawyer acting as an executor of a will cannot act for any party challenging the will as this directly conflicts with the lawyer's professional duty owed to the estate. There is a clear and unsolvable conflict of interest here. Secondly, in almost all circumstances, a lawyer acting as executor cannot also act for a party who has been left property under the will. This is because the lawyer's duty is owed to the estate, not the actual individual beneficiary. So if an individual bequest is challenged, the lawyer executor cannot act for the beneficiary whose gift has been impugned. There may be situations where the interests of the estate and those of the beneficiaries are aligned. in such circumstances, a direct conflict of interest may not arise with an individual beneficiary's interest. However, best practice is that the beneficiary get separate legal representation.