Wife removed from administering Culloville businessman’s £multi-million estate

April 28, 2014

By Christine Keighery

The wife of Culloville business man, Michael Hoey, has been removed from administering her late husband’s multi-million pound estate after two of her daughters won a High Court battle last month.

Sisters Deirdre Muckian and Mary McCann issued proceedings over their mother’s handling of Mr Hoey’s extensive assets after he died suddenly in October 2003 without leaving a will. Mrs Hoey’s three sons and another daughter were also named as joint defendants in the action.

Michael Hoey’s vast estate included land in Counties Armagh, Monaghan and Louth as well as retail premises in Dundalk and more than 750,000 euros in cash.  His entire estate was valued as being worth in the region of £1m – £5m.

The sisters took legal action against their mother Albina Hoey, who had acted as personal representative of her husband’s estate since his death 11 years ago, over alleged delays over the administration of the estate.  The court heard that an inheritance tax account was apparently only submitted to HM Revenue and Customs in January 2009.

According to Mr Justice Deeny’s ruling, which was published last week, “little seems to have been done for a considerable period of time” after Mr Hoey’s death and the two sisters became “restless and unhappy” about the situation.  He also highlighted that they had rejected unsatisfactory money offers in connection with two of their late father’s properties.

Three sons were given a farm each and the use of yards adjoining a family business premises at Concession Road, Culloville, where coal, meal and oil sales were carried out.

Although Mrs Hoey was said to have gone through two hip operations, The judge described Mrs Hoey as articulate and well, despite having undergone two hip operations.

“She is 74 years of age but if it was just a question of age and health I would be satisfied she could continue (as personal representative),” he said.

However, he went on to order that Mrs Hoey should be removed from administering her late husband’s estate as he said it was “clear this lady does not understand her duties as a personal representative. She has not discharged them.”

“She has not properly protected the welfare of the beneficiaries and by her own admission she is not a proper person to administer this estate further.”

The judge appointed Belfast based solicitors Cleaver, Fulton and Rankin Trustee Limited as the new administrators of the Hoey estate and commended the sisters on choosing a “professional neutral person to perform this task.”