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NSW Executor of Will Refusing to Release to Beneficiary - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Wills and Estate Planning Law Forum' started by Karen Hewitt, 24 April 2016.

  1. Karen Hewitt

    Karen Hewitt Member

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    I am a beneficiary of a will along with three other people. There are two executors of will appointed. One executor of will is trying to do the right thing and the second is refusing to release to the remaining beneficiaries. It has been 12 months and the property was sold with the money going directly into the executors' accounts instead of the deceased estate. What can we do to close this matter out?
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Karen,

    Is the executor providing any specific reason for withholding the funds? Usually, if there are no setbacks in the administration of an estate inheritances are received by beneficiaries between 6 to 12 months after the death of the deceased. Case law has come up with what is called the "executor's year" which allows the executor reasonable time to collect the estate.

    Its effect is that unless the will states otherwise, interest is not payable on monetary gifts until 12 months after the deceased's death, the executor should distribute the estate one year after the testator's death if they are able to do so if the executor has completion the collecting all assets belonging to the estate then the beneficiaries ar entitled to distribution within a reasonable period of them doing so.

    I would write to the executor requesting that he provide an estimated date of distribution, and if it is not within a reasonable time - set out your rights as above and request he provide an explanation for why they will not be distributed within a reasonable time. You may wish to remind him or her that you will be entitled to interest on your monetary gifts after 12 months, and you are within your rights to apply to the court to have him distribute the estate if he does not do so within a reasonable time. Hopefully, this may generate some action.
     
  3. winston wolf

    winston wolf Well-Known Member

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    What reason has the executor given for delaying the release?

    Either way, the only way to force their hand is through the court. The first executor can do this. Otherwise, the beneficiaries can do it. If the recalcitrant executor is a beneficiary this can make it easier, as the costs can be awarded to come from their share.
     
  4. Karen Hewitt

    Karen Hewitt Member

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    Thank you, the executors are brother and sister. It is the sister who is refusing to release to the other beneficiaries as she doesn't believe her mother should have included us in her estate and that is what it is about.
     
  5. Karen Hewitt

    Karen Hewitt Member

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    Thank you the executors are brother and sister, it is the sister who is refusing to release to the other beneficiaries as she doesn't believe her mother should of included us in her estate and that is what it is about.
     
  6. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Well, she doesn't have a choice. It's your mother's will and if she wanted to contest it, she should have made a family provision application. She owes you a duty of care as executor and if she fails to discharge that obligation she is liable for any damage caused.
     
  7. winston wolf

    winston wolf Well-Known Member

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    Sophea is correct. Tell her to pay up or start paying some very large bills.
     

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