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NSW Beneficiary - Access to View Bank Statements of Deceased Mother?

Discussion in 'Wills and Estate Planning Law Forum' started by Wise, 1 May 2016.

  1. Wise

    Wise Active Member

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    My sister is my mother's executor of will. My mother passed away 5 months ago and probate is about to be submitted to the court. I am a beneficiary.

    I know that my mother has given my sister large amounts of money in the past to help her out but my sister refuses to disclose how much. My sister was also a signatory to my mother's bank accounts, although my mother was of sound mind and in full control of her finances.

    Is it possible for me to have access to view my mother's bank statements for the 12 months prior to her death? Can these documents be subpoenaed by the courts if I was to contest her will?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Wise

    Wise Active Member

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    Anyone?
     
  3. Victoria S

    Victoria S Well-Known Member

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    Being a beneficiary to your mother's will would not automatically give you the right to view her financial records. However I suppose if you believed it was relevant to any issues raised in contesting the will, you would be able to subpoena them.

    On what basis would you be contesting the will?
     
  4. Wise

    Wise Active Member

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    Hi Victoria,

    Thank you for your reply, I'm considering contesting the will as the amount of estate that I have been left in comparison to my sister is very unfair. I thought that if I could prove that my sister was given large amounts of money in the past that it may assist my claim?

    I know I may come across as bitter but I thought that my mother would have been fair to both of us equally.
     
  5. Victoria S

    Victoria S Well-Known Member

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    Hi Wise,

    Just be aware that simply because your mother did not share her estate equally between you and your siblings does not mean a court will intervene to make it equal or award you a more favourable inheritance.

    In order to successfully bring a family provision application, you would need to be able to demonstrate to the court that you were once dependant on the deceased and you have a 'need' for a larger share of the estate compared to the claims of relatives or beneficiaries. You would need to show that a share of her estate is necessary for your reasonable maintenance, education or advancement in life. If you can't show these things then your claim could fail. I would speak with a lawyer about it.
     
  6. Wise

    Wise Active Member

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    Thanks, Victoria...I appreciate your help and reply.
     

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