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VIC Should Executor of Will Provide Information While Medically Unfit?

Discussion in 'Wills and Estate Planning Law Forum' started by Joolz, 31 May 2016.

  1. Joolz

    Joolz Active Member

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    Hi,

    I am an executor of will for my late mother who has passed away. I am currently trying to execute her deceased estate and my estranged sister is a beneficiary. I was unable to locate my sister until two months after my mother's passing and now I have too much contact from her as money is coming her way. She has already had 168k distributed to her in the last two months from our late father and has now has engaged a solicitor to push me for information.

    I don't mind this at all; it's just that I have a broken ankle and a medical certificate until 21 June for no weight on my limb.

    Can the solicitor demand I provide information by 9 June which is whilst I am medically unfit? I have forwarded copies of my medical records but the solicitor is not concerned that I may risk the recovery. My employer has not insisted that I work from home while my limb is elevated!

    Thanks for any help.

    Kind regards
     
  2. Victoria S

    Victoria S Well-Known Member

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    Hi Joolz,

    Unless the solicitor is relying on some statutory timing requirement, they are coming up with the time line themselves and have simply picked a date and written a demand letter to get you to take some action by that date. What have they threatened to do if you do not take the required action by that date?

    I would write back to them and tell them that you are medically incapacitated and provide medical reports as evidence (so they don't think you are just avoiding them) and give them a date by which you will have done the requested act.
     
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  3. Joolz

    Joolz Active Member

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    Thank you very much. I have already sent all my medical paperwork by email to the solicitor and explained that my next hospital appointment is 21 June so that I will be able to update them further then.

    I have been advised that my estranged sister has gone and already spent money that does not yet have and is now looking for the remainder of her inheritance to bail her out of whatever financial situation she has hot herself into. Not sure why she doesn't just ask the bank for an interim loan?

    The 12 month period from date of death is 06 August 2016, although I did not receive the last payment into my late mother's estate until 16 May so I'm sure the request can wait at least until I have been reviewed by the hospital.

    The other issue is that all my paperwork is at my office which is being posted out to me. However all my electronic information such as income statement and expenses statement is on my PC at the office.
    If the solicitor wants me to re create all the statements am I able to charge a fee for this if it is requiring me to do duplicate work if my sister is not happy to wait until I can access my office PC?

    Thanks again. I really appreciate your help.
     
  4. Victoria S

    Victoria S Well-Known Member

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    Just get them to wait, your only time constraint as an executor is to have the estate distributed within about 12 months provided there are no major roadblocks with the estate which would prevent this. 6 weeks is not going to put you over this deadline, which by the way is only a guide anyway.
     
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  5. Joolz

    Joolz Active Member

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    Thanks everyone so much. I was feeling really pressured whilst suspended with my leg unable to do much. Now I can concentrate on my recovery without stress and conclude my executor duties soon after get medical all clear. Really appreciate the help.:)
     
  6. CathL

    CathL Well-Known Member

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    Actually, section 15 of the Administration and Probate Act sets out 6 weeks from death as the timeframe after which they could seek that the Court summon the executor to prove or renounce probate of the Will. (ADMINISTRATION AND PROBATE ACT 1958 - SECT 15Executor etc. neglects to prove, renounce or bring in the will). In practice, its usually around 2-3 months.

    You will need to let them know that you are taking steps to seek a Grant of Probate and fulfil your duties as an executor. You don’t need to give copious amounts of information. Your focus and duty is to the estate, not to your sister’s solicitor.

    Please see Probate - LawAnswers.com.au for more information, and options of a DIY Probate Victoria Kit to take you through the process step by step, or Probate Assist to prepare the probate application forms.
     
  7. Joolz

    Joolz Active Member

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    Hi Cath. Just to clarify, I already have had Probate granted so that is not the issue. The solicitor has the copy of the Grant of Probate with seal and will. It is the Administration aspect of my duties that is being held up by my medical situation. My late mum.passed away 6 Aug 2015 so once I get cleared hopefully 21 June. Hope this clarifies things.

    Cheers
     
  8. CathL

    CathL Well-Known Member

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    Then yes, as Victoria mentioned above, executors generally have 12 months - the executor's year - to finalise the estate. Taking a couple of weeks off to recover shouldn't be a problem.
     

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