Some months ago I was fortunate to receive an inheritance of a boat and engine from my late uncle. I was obviously delighted. However, it was kept in my late uncle’s garage and the executor refused to give me possession of the boat and engine until probate was complete in the estate. Unfortunately, a fire broke out in the garage last week and both boat and engine were destroyed. I am devastated, please advise me.
When a person makes a will they appoint an executor, within the body of the will, to carry out the directions of the will. The executor is obliged by law to preserve, protect and administer the estate of the deceased person strictly in accordance with the terms of the will.
Such an obligation to preserve and protect the assets of the estate means that the executor is obliged to ensure that all assets are adequately protected until they are distributed. In fulfilling this obligation an executor should make sure that all assets required to be insured are insured for their market value.
In the unfortunate event that the executor of your late uncles estate failed to take out insurance in order to protect the assets of the estate then you may sue the executor personally in respect of your loss suffered. Obviously, this may be an undesirable action to take as the executor is likely to be your relative. It is advisable to contact the executor without delay for confirmation of existence of an insurance policy.