Sisters remove mother as administrator of father's estate

By Lenore Rice

The wife of multi-millionaire Northern Ireland man Michael Hoey has been removed as his personal representative after the High Court in Belfast ruled that she did not understand her duties and "by her own admission she is not a proper person to administer this estate further."

The two daughters of Michael Hoey, Deirdre Muckian and Mary McCann, issued proceedings over the administration of their father's estate because of serious delays. Mr Hoey died in October 2003 without having made a Will - known as dying intestate. His wife Albina Hoey acted as the personal representative of her husband's estate, which included property in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as well as over £600,000 in cash. An inheritance tax account wasn't lodged with the HM Revenue and Customs until over 5 years later in January 2009.

Mrs Muckian and Mrs McCann brought the action against their mother as well as three brothers and another daughter. The three brothers had each received farming land and the use of other property. The plaintiffs had rejected money offers in respect of two of the gifted properties, and the court heard they had become "restless and unhappy" about the situation.

At the High Court in Belfast Mr Justice Deeny described 74-year-old Albina Hoey as being of sufficiently good health, but that she lacked a proper understanding of her duties as a personal representative, and had failed to protect "the welfare of the beneficiaries". He ordered that she be removed from administering the estate which has been estimated as totalling between £1-£5million.

If you require legal advice in respect of making or updating a Will, contesting a Will, or on another matter of probate, contact Gilbert Nesbitt or Lenore Rice at Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9293.