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NSW Executor of Will - Privacy Breach?

Discussion in 'Wills and Estate Planning Law Forum' started by chappie, 4 December 2014.

  1. chappie

    chappie Member

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    Hi there,

    I am a beneficiary for my mother's estate and currently going through a separation and divorce. I have discovered that the ex (not a beneficiary) has been communicating with the Executors and has received information about the estate proceeds and distribution date. They (executors) are trying to withhold me from receiving my funds and the ex's solicitor has requested that the distribution monies be held in a "controlled monies account" (in joint names mind you with said ex) prior to my receipt of funds.

    I think there has clearly been a breach of privacy here. What action can I take against the Executors for providing this information to the ex and her solicitor?

    Regards
     
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    1. The executor should act in the best interests of the beneficiaries as a whole.
    2. However, in settlement negotiations for separated couples, inheritance by one partner also contributes to the pool of shared assets. So your ex-partner may have a claim in a share of your inheritance.
    3. The solicitors of the executor/estate does not represent you. They represent the estate (represented by the executor). Hence, there is no duty of confidentiality extended to you since you are not their client. I suggest you talk to your own lawyer.
     
  3. chappie

    chappie Member

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    Thank you Sarah J, I am talking to a solicitor about my divorce..I just don't think its fair the executors feel like passing on information about the estate to my ex and was thinking this was a breach of privacy on their part to release information to her, when she is not a beneficiary?
     
  4. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Speak with your lawyer about this matter since I am not too familiar with what an executor is allowed to disclose. Their primary duty is to look after the estate and make sure it gets into the right hands. Hence, they may well need to disclose some information in order to ascertain who the correct owner is. However, as you said, I do not believe they should be speaking with your ex partner about your information. They may be entitled to speak to the necessary people about information relating to the estate.
     

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