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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.
Have you seen the Will?
Have they appointed a Solicitor?
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.
As a beneficiary under the will you are entitled to see the will the executors cannot refuse you access.
You can contact the Solicitor yourself as a beneficiary. If he won’t give you the Solicitors details then you can contact the Supreme Court in your state and ask them if probate has been issued in this matter and if they have an application they can advise you of the name of the Solicitor.
It is the job of the executor to look after the estate for the benefit of the beneficiaries. If they do not do this the executors can be held personally liable.
They cannot change a will after the passing of the person. Only he can make changes before he dies.
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?
You can get the will provided you are a beneficiary named in it.
If the will says everything to be divided equally and it has not you can take the executor to task for failing to comply with his obligations.
If it has been finalized they can file an application with the court against the executor.
You can ask for accounts from the Solicitor and the probate to see what is in the estate. If there are discrepancies the executor has to explain.
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.
I mean you can sue him for not doing the right thing and have him provide an explanation why and if need be pay compensation.
They are the beneficiaries who did not receive their entitlements.
To collect assets and distribute them you need to obtain probate from the court. The Solicitor should have a copy of the probate. If not call the court and they will give you a copy.