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Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 44388
Experience:  BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
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Beneficiary rights to information

Resolved Question:

I would like to know my rights as a beneficiary? My mum passed away in August of 2009 and my eldest brother and my eldest sister were named as executors. They helped themselves to everything in mum's house and passed a few items to their children. There are eight siblings and nobody knows what was in the house as the executors had cleared the place before anyone had a chance. Also the house has just been sold and nobody was told it was on the market even. What are my rights? Should the selling of the house be communicated to the beneficiaries or should we be letting the executors handle everything and we as beneficiaries wait until the estate has been settled.

Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Australia Law
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I haven’t seen the will. The executors have not allowed it. All they said was that the will was straightforward. Everything in the estate is to be divided between the eight remaining siblings. Mum had a solicitor to which the three eldest siblings (not just the two executors) have seen. All I know is that he is in our home town. I would need to ring one of the executors to find out the solicitors name and number. I assume I could phone the solicitor himself and request him to send a copy of the will to me. Is that correct? Also, just for information. My father passed away in 1994 and the will was not changed after he passed.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

If it is the executors job to look after the estate for the benefit of the beneficiaries then being 'first in' to get assets, and not distributing these assets equally amongst the beneficiaries, is not following the wishes of the deceased. I would have thought that communicating the events of an estate would be part of the executor’s duties. So I guess my question is if I am able to obtain the will and the will does state that everything is too divided equally amongst the eight siblings then how do I go about contesting or do I ring the solicitor first to inform him that the wishes of the deceased have not been done? What do the beneficiaries get when the estate has settled? Do we get an itemized account of assets, liabilities, costs incurred eg funeral and solicitor costs or do we get a check from the solicitor without any itemized account?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

What do you mean by 'take the executor to task'?

If it has been finalized 'they' who is they? Is it me as a beneficiary or the executors?

Also, as for the accounts by the probate do you mean that I need to contact the Supreme Court for these details if I cannot get them from the solicitor? Sorry but I want to be very clear on my rights.