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NSW Is Deadline Given by Executor of Will Fair?

Discussion in 'Wills and Estate Planning Law Forum' started by Annette B, 11 August 2016.

  1. Annette B

    Annette B Member

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    As well as other assets, a rural block of land was left to myself, my brother and my sister by our father who died in April 2014. The executor of will is his brother who has been very antagonistic and spiteful to all of us and not forthcoming about the progress of settling the deceased estate to the extent that he instructed the solicitors to not provide any information to us without his permission.

    We have received part of the proceeds of the estate from other property sold and the only asset still remaining to be settled is a rural block of land which has no legal access and adjoins a National Park. After well over 2 years, we are now given only 2 weeks to respond to the letter below which was received today, 11 August 2016.

    The letter does not indicate the approximate value of the land, the amount of ongoing council fees and if there was even an attempt to gain legal access from the neighbours or the National Parks and Wildlife Service. We will now have to contact the solicitor and the local council to gain further information about our options to try and make an informed and responsible decision.

    My question is -

    Is the time-frame of 2 weeks as specified below legal or fair given that there is minimal information to base our decision on and that it has taken over 2 years and 3 months to even get to this point in the settlement proceedings?

    As there is a very tight deadline for our response to the solicitors it would be greatly appreciated if someone could please guide us in the right direction.


    "We refer to previous communications in this matter and advise that the only asset of the estate to be realised is the bush block of land located adjacent to the National Park being xxxxx situated in the xxxxx area.

    The property was listed for sale but a sale has not been forthcoming due to the fact that the land does not have any legal access.

    We have made enquiries of the immediate neighbours of the land as to whether they would be interested in purchasing it and have not been successful in finding a purchaser.

    The National Parks and Wildlife Service are interested in obtaining the land, but are not prepared to pay for it.

    The property is currently incurring costs being borne by the estate in Council Rates, Local Land Services Rates and accruing legal fees.

    In the circumstances, we ask if you as beneficiaries of the estate wish the property to be transferred into your names.

    If we do not have a positive response from you by 26 August, on instructions from the Executor, we will transfer the land to the National Park and finalise the estate."
     
  2. winston wolf

    winston wolf Well-Known Member

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    You could ask for more time as reasonable is subjective.

    I sound like they have tried several options and are trying to wrap up the estate.

    Why not suggest the land be transferred to the beneficiaries that are interested in it so the estate can be finalised?
     
  3. Victoria S

    Victoria S Well-Known Member

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    I agree where there is no specific law stating a timeframe - what is reasonable is generally up for discussion. If you deem it to be unreasonable then you have the right to negotiate an extension to that length of time. But obviously the prudent and correct way to go about it is to establish a new deadline for the get go, not reach the deadline then ask for an extension.
     
  4. Annette B

    Annette B Member

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    Many thanks for your response - We have already replied to the solicitor asking for an extension and requesting the information we need in order to base our decision on.
     
  5. Annette B

    Annette B Member

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    Thanks for your response - we have already replied to the solicitor asking for an extension and requesting the information we need in order to base our decision on.

    We will probably either request that the land be transferred to only one of the beneficiaries or the National Parks and Wildlife Service as we also would like this matter to be finalised as soon as possible but we felt that we would have been totally irresponsible if we had just accepted their option and not investigated the matter further given that several dubious actions and undue delays by the executor in other aspects of the estate has led us to believe that he does not have the beneficiaries' best interests at heart.
     

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